Christmas Party 2022
On Friday 9th December, 2022 Patmos Cottage School held a very colourful end of year Christmas party for pupils, staff, invited guests and community elders. In total 206 pupils, 30 staff members and 14 elders attended this event.
After a long and arduous year which saw teachers working particularly hard to ensure that the pupils caught up on school work and made up for lost time as a result of school closures and covid restrictions the previous year, this party came as a welcome opportunity for them and their pupils to finally relax and enjoy the day. There have also been additional exams this year brought about in part by the shorter school year calendar last year and the government trying to realign the academic calendar this year in Kenya. So it has been a challenging year for staff and pupils alike.
On the day of the party, excited pupils started to gather at the school from 9am and eagerly helped staff to decorate the school hall and the Christmas tree. For children living in disadvantaged communities and informal settlements like Mathare, many will have never received a Christmas or birthday gift in their lives. For these children, Christmas would normally be just like any other day, and the reality is that there would be no cards, presents or special meals at Christmas. Their parents or guardians, who are often living on subsistence incomes, would simply not be able to afford it. Therefore, the school Christmas party is often the only time when these children would be able to experience the joy and excitement of Christmas that many of us take so forgranted.
Once the school hall had been decorated the entertainment began and there was much singing of Christmas Carols, dancing and games. During the entertainment session the children were given snacks and refreshments. Meanwhile the school kitchen was a hive of cooking activities. Two school cooks and three other hired helpers were each busy preparing the meal. The special Christmas meal consisted of chapatis, rice, dry fried chicken, beef, fruit and soft drinks.
At 2pm lunch was ready and all children were called to the dining room. The youngest children were served their meal first. The teachers were served their Christmas dinner once all the children had finished. The school guests and community Elders were served their meals in the school library on a large table which had been specially prepared for the event. Everyone enjoyed their meal!
The Christmas party finished at 4pm when thanksgiving prayers were said. The school closed for the December holiday with everyone looking forward to the next school year in January 2023.