Happy Valentines Day! This week has been cold and rainy with an unfulfilled promise of snow. However, despite the bad weather we have been able to spend some quality time at Caritas Village. With the craziness that is Rhodes College – constantly adding more and more to your schedule – this semester we can finally add something to our schedule to look forward to each week. This semester we are able to help out with the Peacemakers program at Caritas Village. It’s been an amazing opportunity for us to be able to hang out with the kids, and see the great program that Noel has developed. Peacemakers is an afterschool program for children grades K-5 that sponsors art based activities and service projects that promote healthy relationships and community responsibility.
For us, this has become more than just a weekly obligation. We love going and after only four weeks find that we are gaining so much from these relationships both with the other volunteers and the kids. Although playing with the kids is never-ending fun, the underlying goal of this program cannot be ignored. The idea of making peace and being a means of change in a community and society that seems to lack that peace so often is inspiring. Especially because the Ruka’s goal of trying to build and foster intentional relationships with each other is so in tune with what these kids are learning to do. Being present, participating their daily lessons, and seeing the kids watch and emulate things that we do and say makes me very aware of my actions and intentional behavior. I would’ve never thought that elementary school kids would be so great at holding me accountable to how I’m treating other people.
More than anything, Peacemakers brings us all lots of laughs and fun, and a much needed breath of fresh air from the chaos of school. I’m looking forward to continuing to my involvement with peacemakers and learning more about the program and myself.
Fun fact: A sneeze travels out of your mouth at over 100 mph.