The ‘go’ signal from the game facilitator got the Tambayani Center fired up as each member of the team exerted his/her best effort to win the game. Through the glittering eyes of the children while playing, one can see that for them, cooperating with their teammates is no big deal and is customary.
Orange shirts, upbeat songs, smiling faces, giggling kids, and nice, warm weather—nice combination when spending time with the sixty seven (67) Gawad Kalinga kids at Marcelo Village, Parañaque City. Insular Health Care, in partnership with Insular Life, held an outreach program at the said place last July 17, 2015.
The beaming faces of the kids welcomed the team of seventeen (17) volunteers, the Insular Health Care Office of the President Technical Operations team. By the time we arrived, several kids were already in the activity area. Some were busy lining up the chairs. Some were busy playing. Some were singing and others were busy dancing to their own rhythm. Motivated by the kids’ excitement, we prepared our materials and other stuffs to be used for the short program. While waiting for the other kids to arrive, kids in the area were gathered and together with us, they danced and exercised.
Grateful to the Lord’s unfailing love and guidance, the program started with a prayer and after that, the whole team was introduced to the kids. Hearing the kids greet us ‘Magandang Araw Ate (or Kuya)’ was indeed heartwarming.
For the games, the kids were divided into groups. Mechanics of the games were first explained to them. It’s overwhelming to see them interested and delighted in playing ‘Footprints in the Sand’ and ‘Ball Relay’. After playing, they were asked to reflect about what their teams did during the game. Volunteer kids then shared what strategy they used, why they did win or not, etc. Gladly, they got the message we wanted to let them know—the importance of teamwork. A kid even mentioned that cooperating with their teammates and enjoying the game itself already made them feel like winners.
Moreover, cooperation-themed short films and animations were shown to the kids. They again shared what they have learned from watching the videos.
The kids listened intently as the emcees explained further the essence of cooperation in achieving a team’s goals. The game winners were then awarded by Ms. Seraline L. Manguni (President and COO) and Ms. Irene M. Sicadsicad (Head-Actuarial Staff). Consolation prizes were given to non-winners. Snacks were also served and giveaways were distributed.
After more or less three hours, the program ended. Time spent with the kids may be too short to help them fully internalize the significance of having cooperation with others in everyday life, but for sure long enough to make them realize that having cooperation in a team absolutely helps get them near their objectives.
The outreach program was indeed a success! Thanks to all the volunteers who helped from the preparation until the program finished. In the end, all our little efforts can be considered synergy at its fullest. It was not only by lecturing and reiterating to the kids the essence of teamwork but as well as by being an example of a cooperating team that we have somehow instilled in them the true power of cooperation.