Published Tue, Dec 26, 2023
Written by Dana Kaltenberger
Embracing the Spirit of joy, compassion, and togetherness, EduNations endeavors to create a festive and heartwarming atmosphere as students, teachers and staff come together to celebrate Christmas. Through a series of engaging activities and initiatives, the organization aims to spread cheer and create lasting memories for everyone within its educational community.
EduNations Christmas celebrations commence with the adornment of its schools and facilities, transforming them into enchanting and merry spaces. Students and staff decorate classrooms, common areas, and outdoor spaces with colorful ornaments, twinkling lights, and handmade crafts, infusing the environment with the warmth and magic of the holiday season. The act of decorating not only fosters creativity and teamwork but also cultivates a sense of pride and ownership among all participants.
Central to the Christmas festivities at EduNations is the spirit of giving. In the weeks leading up to Christmas, students and staff engage in various charitable endeavors, such as organizing food and clothing drives, and participating in volunteer initiatives to support those in need within their communities. These acts of kindness instill in students the values of empathy, generosity, and social responsibility, nurturing their understanding of the true meaning of Christmas.
In the spirit of unity and camaraderie, EduNations Christmas celebration climaxes with an end of year celebration that includes a shared meal, where students, teachers, and staff gather to enjoy a feast of traditional and festive dishes. This communal gathering fosters a sense of belonging and solidarity, as individuals from diverse backgrounds come together to partake in the joyous occasion.
Moreover, EduNations recognizes the dedication and hard work of its teachers and staff by organizing special appreciation events during the staff party through gestures of gratitude, such as heartfelt notes, tokens of appreciation, and personalized acknowledgements. The organization demonstrates its deep appreciation for the unwavering commitment and passion exhibited.
The candlelight processional serves as a poignant and symbolic centerpiece of EduNations Christmas celebration. Held in the evening, this solemn yet uplifting event brings together students, teachers, staff, and members of the local community to commemorate the spirit of the season. As twilight descends, participants gather in a designated outdoor area, where they are each provided with a candle. The event begins with an opening prayer and a background of the meaning of the event and students are placed into two straight lines as they featuring traditional Christmas carols and songs that resonate with the audience. As the melodies fill the air, the candles are lit one by one, creating a beautiful, glowing display of unity and Hope. A procession follows, during which participants walk in unison, carrying their candles and forming a symbolic gesture of shared light and solidarity. The candlelight processional culminates with a moment of reflection and a message of goodwill, delivered by a member of the EduNations community or a local leader, inspiring all present to embrace the values of compassion and unity that define the holiday Season. Firewood is gathered in the middle of the school compound as the participants end the procession in the school compound, the woods are set ablaze while the pastor or church elder gives the gospel message to the audience present.
Following the candlelight processional, the following morning students, teachers gather for a festive picnic meal, fostering a sense of community and togetherness. The picnic setting provides a casual and convivial atmosphere, allowing students, teachers, staff, and few community members to interact and share in the joy of the occasion. The meal features an array of traditional and seasonal dishes, including local specialties and classic holiday fare, creating a diverse and enriching culinary experience. As participants come together to enjoy the food, they engage in lively conversations, forge new connections, and strengthen existing bonds. All these activities are carried out in the various communities that EduNations is operating.
In addition to the above activities, all our EduNations schools go on excursions, brief recreational trips, a journey out of the formal way of learning.
Sierra Leone is known for its religious tolerance and therefore Muslim children are allowed to participate in the Christmas celebration and it is fun to see Muslim children in their jubilant mood and one finds it difficult to identify who is not Christian during the festive celebration.
Christmas Eve is a remarkable night in the lives of Christians. In the evening families gather in their various churches where testimonies are shared, and the Jesus film is projected in some churches followed by praise and worship songs and the message after which the congregation goes home to prepare for the next morning.
Very early the next day Christian families prepare and share food with family members and neighbors. Special effort is made to share with non-Christians as well. Then they attend a short worship service followed by celebrations at home.
|Abdulrahman Bangura, a 9th grade student, who is a first time church goer said, “Before this time I had no idea about Christmas and it’s meaning thinking it’s only fun, but when I saw the passion of the Cross and see how the Master suffered for my sins, I burst into tears. This day I will never forget.”
|Aminata Thullah, a 10th grade student, attending the EduNations Hope Academy Senior Secondary School Rokassa said, “Christmas is a blessed day, and one that is very special all over the world. This is the greatest day in the world, and it’s a day of love. How I wish everyday was Christmas.”
After the festivities, students left for their Christmas break. Schools are scheduled to resume on January 8, 2024.