Christmas is coming early. It’ll be somewhere between the 6th and the 20th of December, but we’re not really sure when.
This Christmas will be celebrated up in the Himalayas in an area called the Neora Valley. The children attending the Christmas gathering will be the beautiful kindergarten to primary school aged students of Kolbung Primary School.
The Santas will be youths and adult volunteers from Singapore. Our presents are not toys and candy and all the normal things children put in their Santa Wish Lists.
Instead, we’re building a 15ft. x 15 ft. extension to their little school. Kolbung Primary School is only 30ft. by 30 ft. in size, and there are 7 classes going on all at the same time inside the big bare room! The children can only listen to one teacher at a time, so when one teacher talks, all the other 6 classes must keep quiet.
With the extension, the children of Kolbung Primary School can continue their education pass Grade 5 into at least Grade 7 level. After that, they have to walk 20 km. to the nearest secondary school. This extension will give them at least another 3 years of education.
And we’ll be building a fence to protect the kids in the area where they play.... just a couple of months back, one of the students fell down the side of the cliff and had to be taken to the hospital two hours away to recover.
Santa’s sleigh will be our backpacks! The children have a tiny library consisting of one small glass cupboard. So we’ll be stuffing our backpacks full of children’s story books (including Uncle Buttons story books about Christmas!) to grow their little library.
We’ll be celebrating our Christmas by playing games with the kids, traditional games that children play in Singapore like 5 stones and hopscotch. And we’ll be painting bright colourful murals on the school extension walls to make it bright and merry.
I think this will be a very, very special Christmas.