KIDS Club happens every Saturday from 2:00-5:00pm and is open to all community children. In the morning we have normal daycare for the children that come Monday- Friday, but then at 2pm the gates are opened for all children to come in! Kids usually line up for over an hour waiting to come in and play. From 2-3:00pm the children get an hour of free play in which they are able to swing, slide, play volleyball and football (soccer), run around and just be kids! HEAL staff and interns are spread out all over the compound to play with kids and supervise. The kids love this time, as it may be the only time they get to play with toys/ swings/ slides for the week. Here, in the first picture you can see kids all over running and playing! All the people in green shirts are the HEAL staff.

Next- from 3:00-3:30pm we all gather in a large circle and have singing and dancing. This is my favorite part of KIDS club because the children absolutely light up and love to dance! There are a few teachers in the middle leading the songs and all the children join in! There are many songs that have dancing with a partner so we all grab an arm and dance around with the children. 

Then, from 3:30-3:45pm we have large group time where the teachers review the story from last week, talk about the story for this week and pray. Us interns are also responsible for a skit each week so we grab some kids from our program in the morning and make up a skit pertaining to the story each week. After large group, the children break up into smaller groups based on their age. Small groups happen from 3:45-4:25pm. This is where the teachers go through the story more in depth according to the age of the group. Each group is also dismissed to wash their hands during this time because each week they get clean water and a snack. We rotate between a roll, banana and boiled egg. After the small groups, we come back together at the end to review what the children have learned, sing a song and pray before they go home. This is what large group looks like!

As each child leaves the gate they get a sweetie (lollipop) that has a verse based on the story attached to it. It is our hope the children read the scripture during the week and share it with their family. All the HEAL staff and interns also make a “tunnel of love” as the children leave and rotate saying different phrases like “Jesus loves you,” “See you next week,” “We love you so much,” and a couple Luganda sayings. Each child leaves loved, fed and knowing more about Christ.

I see so much value in KIDS Club. These kids are taught about Jesus every single week. The teachers do a great job at making the lessons age appropriate and fun for the kids to learn from. They also see joy and loved lived out by our staff and interns each week. KIDS Club may be a highlight for some of these kids each week, and that is an honor that we do not take lightly. This is also a time for kids to just be kids. Children here have so much responsibility at home and are usually forced to grow up very quickly, but for these three hours each week all they have to do is have fun and learn about Jesus! I am so thankful that HEAL Ministries continues to pour into the children in surroundings villages and it is just one of the reasons I love being a part of the team here in Jinja!   

- Brooke Pearson, Volunteer Nurse