Children take Christmas to the street

Taumeasina Island Resort and the students and staff of Vaiala Beach School helped spread Christmas cheer to unlikely corners of Apia on Thursday, reaching out to street vendors.

The children were participating in a programme designed to emphasise the importance of education to children who sell goods for a living. 

The General Manager of the resort, Tuiataga Nathan Bucknall, said the programme is now in its fourth week but has already produced great friendships between the students of Vaiala Beach and street vendors.  

“We are happy that the young vendors have all continued to join us, every Tuesday afternoon,” said Tuiataga.

“It is warming to see that the students from Vaiala Beach Primary have formed friendships with the kids, and you can see that everyone looks forward to Tuesday afternoons, where the kids read to each other, share stories, and take part in other puzzles and games.”

Tuiataga and the Principal of Vaiala Beach School, Lorraine Williams, organised a sack of Christmas presents for the children which included school bags, pencils, puzzles clothing and books. 

The programme centres on the importance of education, and child literacy.  

Every Tuesday the child vendors have enjoyed an afternoon full of puzzles, games, reading, and art and craft.

“At first it wasn’t easy because of the diverse age range of the children, and the fact that they had little schooling before,” Ms Williams said. 

“However, it has become easier as time went on, and you can see that the kids really love the interaction of being read to in Samoan and English. Vaiala Beach School looks forward to the next part of the initiative.”

Taumeasina Island Resort’s major shareholder, Tulaniu O Atua Sir Kostas Constantinou, thanked Ms. Williams and all of the staff and students for the contribution they have made together with the resort’s own staff. 

“The greatest gift you can give a child is the opportunity of an education, this initiative will no doubt impact their lives for years to come and I wish all including the children the merriest and safest Christmas," Mr Constantinou said 

The programme will break over the Christmas and New period and start back again in January. 

Those who are interested to donate gifts or other items can leave their donation under the Christmas tree at the resort which will be collected by non-Government organisation Brown Girl Woke and be distributed to children in need.

It resumes in January. 

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