By Emma Byrne and Dorothee Driever
On Sunday we visited Morning Star for the first time, we were greeted with so many happy faces and lots of little hands to be held. The school boys showed us around their beautiful home unlike any stereotypical children’s home setting. This non-clinical environment is surrounded by lots of trees and beautiful flowers. It gives all the boys ample opportunity to be outdoors and play outside.
The following day we left NSK (where we will be staying at weekends) and began our first week in Morning Star.
Our mornings are spent with the boys with intellectual and physical disabilities outside in a courtyard enclosed by trees and plants – a calm and relaxing atmosphere. We have had the opportunity to spend time with the boys in small groups and individually, therefore understand each boy and what makes them smile and happy. Although there is a mix in abilities, we have been able to encourage all the boys to participate in fun activities for example drawing, dancing, ball games and face paint. In particular this week we worked with two boys, encouraging them to engage their core strength through sitting upright.
Usually these boys spend a lot of time lying down causing their muscles to be weaker. However both have a lot of potential and are already making progress to being able to sit up on their own independently. Each day we help feed the boys with disabilities at lunch and dinner time. This has given us an opportunity to interact 1:1 with the more complex boys who have warmed to us as the week has gone on.
It has been very interesting to hear peoples stories, especially John and Joy’s who run Morning Star as they are a constant inspiration. Each day this week has been so enjoyable for us and although we are helping the boys,we are getting a lot out of it ourselves. We really think we can have a positive impact and have lots of plans for the coming weeks. We really look forward to the next week to come!