How do you explain a birthday celebration to someone who has never had a birthday party before? A time friends sing a special song for you? Blowing candles, cutting a cake?
When 21-year-old Project 100 volunteer Aaron Kester, and SOLS 24/7 volunteer Audrey Hanna, 19, found out one of their students from Chow Kit Krash Pad had never had a birthday party before, they were determined to make it special!
Chow Kit Krash Pad, is run by Yayasan Chow Kit, providing a centre for youth and at-risk children to find refuge and participate in education programs. Both Aaron and Audrey had been teaching English, Motivation and Maths to the Chow Kit children for a few weeks.
“Our student is going to be 14-years-old. As the children are high-risk, we had to get special permission to celebrate the party in the centre. We have also bought lots of snacks, drinks and of course- cake!” said an excited Audrey.
After setting up a spacious room to for the party, the children started arriving, but it was not until the birthday girl was led into the room that the celebration started.
As the lights dimmed, a chorus of voices started singing the ‘Happy Birthday’ song. Understandably confused, she remained silent as her teachers and classmates praised and surrounded her. When the moment arrived to cut the cake, emotions overwhelmed her and she broke into tears of joy.
One by one, she fed all the guests as an expression of her gratitude, leaving Aaron until last.
This was the most emotive moment of the celebration, in which all the children cheered and chanted with loudly around Aaron, who was visibly moved by the gesture.
As the party entered full swing, the birthday girl, touched by the gestures of love that she was receiving, kept smiling through her tears.
“It was especially significant that this girl cried at the party, for she is one of those students that rarely showed emotion and kept to herself,” he said.
Once the tears had been wiped away, the party continued with dances and games.
Reflecting on the day, Aaron and Audrey agreed that it was difficult not to be touched by the enthusiasm and the kindness that the children transmitted.
“Now you understand why I am so happy after each time that I come here to teach the children of Chow Kit. These children give me my daily energy!” said Aaron.
It was indeed a truly special day for everyone that enjoyed, ate cake and felt thrilled during the celebration. However, the two people that lived it with special intensity: Teacher Aaron, who was bubbling over with happiness after the party, and of course, the birthday girl, who finally, after 14 years, could enjoy a fantastic birthday party surrounded by the love and affection of all her friends.