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Love and Light

Region 2 - SSEHV Holiday Schools for 5 to 11 Year Olds

'Transforming Lives - Empowering Generations'

It is said “to teach is to touch a life forever” however, with the Sathya Sai Education in Human Values programme we do not just touch lives, we transform lives and empower generations. The Sathya Sai Education in Human Values programme is delivered via a one week Holiday School during the half term holidays for children between the ages of 5 to 11 in local primary school’s within Region 2.
Trained SSEHV teachers, Sai youth and volunteers all unite in their efforts to undertake the task of providing a safe and fun filled week of Human Values based activities for children. These Holiday Schools allow us to impart the teachings of Bhagwan Sri Sathya Sai Baba’s 5 universal Human Values: LOVE, TRUTH, PEACE, RIGHT CONDUCT and NON VIOLENCE; to children who may not know of our Divine Master but can surely benefit from his teachings.

Each Holiday School has approximately 50-60 children that attend. The children are put into classes according to their age for effective teaching and learning. They are given practical experiences throughout the week to learn first-hand the importance of practicing the 5 Human Values through activities such as SSEHV Classes, Silent Sitting, Group Singing, Values based board games, Stories, Drama, Art, Yoga, Sports and Choi Kwang Do (Martial Arts).

During the week many heart to heart conversations are shared between children, teachers and volunteers either in class discussions or in the playground. These heart to heart conversations create within the schools an atmosphere of love, peace and trust. As the days go by a gradual heightened energy of bliss permeates the schools and this is seen by the big smiles on everyone’s faces be it the children, volunteers, teachers and even the parents when they come to collect their children.

The last afternoon of the week usually ends with the whole school participating in an orientation activity which is similar to a treasure hunt but instead we are hunting using the values and finding words which make up a quote about the values. Through the orientation activity the children are given the opportunity to put into practice what they have learnt throughout the week. This activity fosters many good character qualities such as self discipline, leadership skills, co-operation, unity in thought, word and deed and a willingness to be of service to others.

The last day of our Holiday School ends with a school assembly prepared by the children and teachers. The parent’s are invited to see and hear what their children have understood, experienced and achieved by practicing the 5 Human Values. The feedback from parents has always been encouraging and they often share positive changes that they have observed in their children after attending the SSEHV Holiday School.

Here are just a few testimonials from the parents:

"Cameron really enjoyed this programme. He has learnt to be less moody and kinder to his younger siblings. Excellent results and I would highly recommend the School (Wembley Primary School) gets involved in this programme for further sessions."

"I think this holiday school programme is a very good idea for educating our children with Human Values. It will help them make the right choice not only in childhood but also in adulthood. My daughter has very much enjoyed her week at the holiday school and has done lots of things she has never done before and it has brought out her confidence as well. My daughter would like to attend this Holiday School again. I would like to see this programme in my child’s school on a more permanent basis."

"I am very happy with the way my son understood things. Even if we as parents talk and explain, it’s a different thing when children learn outside the house. My son made dinner for me after learning about love, which showed me he understood the deeper meaning. Keep going please you are doing a great job! Thank you."

Although the SSEHV Holiday Schools are intended for the children who attend them, the impact is seen to benefit their schools, families and friends. Teachers and volunteers of the SSEHV Holiday Schools are also given an opportunity to reassess whether they are good exemplars of the 5 universal Human Values. Even after a 40 hour energy demanding week the teachers and volunteers all look forward to when the next Holiday School will take place. With the grace of our dear Lord Sathya Sai Baba the SSEHV Holiday School team are organising another Holiday School for July 2012 within Region 2. If you would like to be a volunteer please contact Mr Keith Banfield: keithbanfield@btinternet.com

"Education is the means of unfolding the moral and spiritual potentialities of man" - Sathya Sai Baba

Article submitted by Sister Chetna Mistry
Centre Chair for Sai Centre Wembley