As an effort to teach orphaned teenagers life values and life skills, the Service Day Project intended to show teenagers responsibilities in the household and in the community by teaching them how to serve the seniors living in the same orphanage.
We were delighted to see the teenagers cooking in the kitchen with the moms. We could see their joy as they were preparing the food, and carefully distributing food for seniors. From our observation, these teenagers wanted to serve and they liked serving their seniors.
Normally, the task of cooking and delivering lunch belongs to the kitchen staff and moms. Today, they had a few helping hands and they surely appreciated that. The seniors walked into the cafeteria at 11:00 to be surprised by the children standing at the door and handing them their lunch boxes. As we explained to them that today’s lunch was prepared by the teenage boys and girls they live with, they were thrilled.
This simple project was able to build relationship between various groups in the orphanage, as well as instill self-esteem. The teenagers were affirmed of their position in this family; the kitchen and mom staff was affirmed of the importance of their skills and jobs. These are the relational impact that is much harder to achieve. One small lunch was a catalyst of profound changes.