It was an exciting day for Faizan, 10, who decorated cup cakes with cherries, sprinkles and white icing, for the first time in his life at the Children’s Day celebrations held at the Avari Hotel on Sunday.
As many as 40 children from SOS Children’s Village participated in the celebrations at the hotel. Last year, students from the Rising Sun Institute for Special Children had been invited. Avari Training Manager Farah Shahid said the hotel aimed to create awareness and provide a fun-filled day for children. “We hope to focus on children by encouraging visits and engaging in fun activities with them,” she says.
The day began with a tour of the hotel’s premises. Children were allowed to explore all corners of the hotel, from the swimming pool and the open area, to the kitchen and the laundry rooms. “The children were fascinated by the kitchen and laundry room,” Shahid says. But what took 13-year old Mashal’s fancy was the gym. “There is just so much equipment there…It is very cool!” said the 7th grader.
The children were served a lunch. Several activities were lined up for them after that. One of which was a do-it-yourself cupcake decorating activity. A chef gave a demonstration on how to decorate the cupcakes.
The children gathered around a table lined with plain cupcakes, icing and an assortment of edible decorations, to decorate their own cupcakes.
Standing proud next to her creation, Laiza, 12, said, “I don’t really like cupcakes but I loved decorating them.”
Some scenes from The Wizard of Oz were screened for the young visitors. They were treated to a book reading session from Musharraf Ali Farooqi’s Tik Tik, The Master of Time. The children were also given books to add to their library.
Excitement at the SOS Children’s Village began a day early. Maimoona Saeed, a member of the management and supervision at SOS Children’s Village, says she was kept up late into the night by children checking in again and again if they would be part of the trip.
“They were so excited that they kept on checking and confirming if their name was on the list of children visiting,” she says. Saeed, who has been with the SOS for three years, says such activities are regularly organised. “Today people are more aware and realise that these children deserve love, care and attention,” says Saeed.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 3rd, 2013.