4N’1 HAPPY KAARAWAN: A Celebration of Hope and Love.

By Donmaclyn Lagapa and Irish Trixie Miras | Posted on January 5, 2023

4N’1 Happy Kaarawan: A Celebration of Hope and Love is a flagship activity of Rotaract Club of Central Butuan – Caraga State University conducted last July 26, 2022 at Limaha, Butuan City during the club’s 6th Charter Anniversary. Although oftentimes charter anniversaries are often neglected and are less celebrated, the Rotaractors of Central Butuan – Caraga State University headed by Imaginative President Donmaclyn Lagapa, took the opportunity to celebrate this meaningful event with the kids of Feeding the Precious Lighthouse Inc., a non-government organization whose mission is to feed the hungry and homeless children.

As the wearing of face masks, may it be in a small crowded place or in large capacity areas, it is important to teach children on how to wear them properly. According to UNICEF, children can act as carriers of the virus and can also endanger the lives of other individuals. As shown, a demonstration on the proper etiquette of wearing a mask and its importance was presented, together with their active participation and the materials being provided, the children were able to follow through the demonstration wore their face masks in a proper manner. 

‘4N’1 Happy Kaarawan’ as originally termed as ‘3N1 Plus 1 Happy Kaarawan,’ which was made famous by a Philippine Ice Cream Brand, was revised and used to commemorate what the club’s celebration had to offer. Who would’ve thought that this tagline will be made more meaningful as the Rotaractors launched this flagship activity which in any way have addressed FOUR out of SEVEN Areas of Focus of the Rotary; the Water, Sanitation and Hygiene, the Disease Prevention and Treatment, Maternal and Child Health, and the Basic Education and Literacy. This is to mainly help the kids respond to the threats of COVID-19 and to maintain a healthy and highly-functional individual amidst the mental and physical health turmoil we are experiencing today.

The Club conducted a series of sessions to ensure that this flagship activity would be worthwhile without compromising the interests of the attendees, the first activity was the Dance Zumba. The kids along with some of the parents and the Feeding The Precious leaders and workers participated in the Zumba Session to start the activity with jive and active participation. It could be anchored to Rotary’s Area of Focus, the Child and Maternal Health.

The greatest approach to avoid getting sick has always been to wash one’s hands frequently. However, due to the occurrence of COVID-19, it makes handwashing important than ever. 
Educating children regarding this matter should be given importance, focusing on the five easy steps namely; wet, lather, scrub, rinse and dry – and key time to wash hands, such as after using the bathroom or before eating. Also, this session was not completed without demonstrating the handwashing techniques as the children sang the “happy birthday” song simultaneously. 

Furthermore, the club also demonstrated the steps in doing proper hand washing as it has been emphasized that COVID-19 could be anywhere and the best practice to prevent us from having COVID-19 Virus is to religiously wash our hands especially to these kids who have been out on the streets unprotected. (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene).

On the latter part, the officers also distributed COVID-19 kits with the following inclusions; Face masks, Alcohol, Paracetamol Syrup, Antibacterial Soaps with Sanicare Tissue. These have been made more possible due to the sponsorship of the club’s mother club, The Rotary Club of Central Butuan led by Imaginative President Anthony Madayag, Jr., PHF+2, who has in any way helped the Rotaractors raise funds for this event.

The future well-being of any civilization depends on the proper growth of children. Vulnerable as they are still developing. Vitamins, Hygiene Kits which includes face masks, hand soap and alcohol, educational materials and foods, are a few of the gifts that the club prepared for the children in partnership with Feeding the Precious Lighthouse, Inc., the club was able to provide for 40 selected children. Targeting 4 out of 7 areas of focus – Disease Prevention and Treatment; Water, Sanitation, and Hygiene; Maternal and Child Care; and Basic Education and Literacy

Lastly, the most highlighted and inspiring part of this activity is the Story Telling session. With which, Ate Irish, the Club Public Image Director, read 3 meaningful stories to the kids and had them realize the moral lessons of these stories. After each stories, the kids were given a chance to share their thoughts and realizations who have made it more inspiring since who would’ve thought that as early as 7 years old, they could have realized that greediness is bad and that we need to look for solutions to every problem that we may encounter as this is God’s indirect way of preparing us for the future. 

The oldest teaching technique is storytelling. Magic and awe of the world are created through stories. We learn from stories about the world, about ourselves, and about others. Children can learn about respect and appreciation towards other cultures through storytelling. Which in turn can also help them develop a positive attitude towards diverse cultures. Three (3) stories were narrated to the children, and in every story they were asked to give their insights and own interpretation of a certain story, with this, the children were able to confidently present their point-of-view.

After the reflections and thought-sharing, the Club President also asked the kids their dreams and aspirations in life, which made the ates and kuyas more emotional as they wanted to be a Policewoman as they have seen heinous crimes and they wanted to stop this. Some may want to be a nurse or a doctor to heal their ill parents. These are only a few of those responses but what made it more special is that, amidst these kids’ being-throughs and life status, they still are full of aspirations instead of hopelessness and we owe it to them to give support and be the foundation of hope and strength.The program was then closed with a prayer and shared food with the kids. 

They believe a child’s smile can light up the entire world. Nothing is more pleasant or satisfying than seeing a child smile after a person has done something nice for them. A warm feeling in your heart and a sense of fulfillment may run through one’s body, when you are able to share the love to these children.

To have celebrated it with the children whom we put our faith in, meeting them, and also getting to converse with them, there is no denying that plenty of factors affect how our society is now and how it will become in the future; and one of the biggest game changers of our future are: the child in us who’s still looking for improvement, the children we see, the children we choose to guide, the children whom we choose to listen to, to stick with us, and to stand up with and for us. 

“A simple smile. That’s the start of opening your heart and being compassionate to others.” – Dalai Lama Smiles are the first building blocks of warm, loving and responsive relationships. It can reassure another, provide comfort to uncomfortable situations, and display personal self-confidence for all to see. As the club had successfully conducted this event in lieu with the Charter Anniversary Celebration, with the help from the sponsoring club – Rotary Club of Central Butuan. 40 children, 40 smiles, 40 individual memories that will last a lifetime.

Children do not limit their dreams as dreams do not limit what children as young as thinking that world peace can happen right when they ask for it, and when they think world hunger can immediately disappear on the dot, can do. Each of them, including us, hopes to make a change in the world and to be of service to others. With that being said, we will continue to be beacons of hope because no action is too small and no words are too silent to help shine a light in places where shadows seem to overpower them. Indeed, it was a momentous celebration for the charter anniversary of Rotaract Club of Central Butuan – Caraga State University.

Share and Enjoy !