Personal Development – Family Style

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The Miss and Mister Competition
St. Helene, our flagship home in Kenscoff, has been a hive of activity these past weeks. We seem to have had one celebration after another;

  • Feast day for Dominique Savio – a Salesian Saint that is held as a role model for our kids
  • Feast day for Marie Mazerello – founder of the Salesian Sisters
  • Beginning of the 4th Annual Miss and Mister of St. Helene competition
  • Baptism of 24 children

So you see it has been a busy month and guess what? We are not finished with the festivities as on Friday we will celebrate the feast day of Our Lady Mary Help of Christians and on the 31st we will have First Holy Communion and Mother’s Day!

Let me tell you a little bit about the Miss and Mister competition. As I said this is the fourth time we have had this event and it is organized by one of our social workers, Mrs. Christella Barreau. The idea is to encourage the older children to work on their social skills, their general knowledge and their talents. They have to study hard as they are questioned on a variety of topics and they also have to present their own individual talents; music, dance, poetry, singing, whatever. They also take part in a host of workshops whereby they have different people coming to cover different topics with them and the whole idea is to help them grow and develop in ways that will be useful for their personal development and for their future careers.

An independent jury presides over each session and of course the audience is made up of all the other kids and staff. The competition takes place over a series of weekends and outings are also a part of the activities whereby the children get to visit some place of interest in the country. So far we have had two sessions of the event and they have gone very well. There is great support for the participants and what is beautiful is that everyone has the support of everyone. While it is a competition, the atmosphere is a family one. You see it when they are getting dressed for the event – one helps the other. The objective is NOT to look better than the other, it’s that everyone looks beautiful. When one makes a mistake, the whole group feels bad for that person. If they feel one could do better, they all encourage him her to do better. It really is something to watch and I think Father Wasson would be very happy to see that these children really do feel that they are one family and it’s easy to see how they live out this feeling.

Of course there will be prizes for the winners and those that chose to take part. Our friends in the new Marriott Hotel kindly offered a day at their pool with food included for the finalists. This will be a special treat for everyone.

Stay well and stay supporting us – in whichever way you can!
Gena Heraty
Special Needs Director

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