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Oakleigh South North Road makes heartfelt connection with Bali

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Children at Goodstart Oakleigh South North Road are taking language learning to a new level with a weekly Skype call to a schoolgirl in a Bali orphanage.

Centre director Jess Flahive has a friend who volunteers at the Bali Mother and Baby House and thought it would be a great opportunity to have her pre kinder class Skype the Balinese children and talk to them in real time.

“The children had a great time on the call and were excited to meet 10-year-old Amanda who they took an instant liking to. She has just started learning English and read us a story that she had written just for the call,” Jess said.

“Our children then read her a story and Amanda showed us around the house and one of the volunteers explained that children in Bali don’t have access to fresh vegetables so they are trying to grown their own in an outdoor area which was just dirt and with no play equipment.”

Following the call, educators Nicole and Jassi showed the children where Bali was on the map and the children drew pictures for Amanda and the other children in the house and also collected up their unwanted toys.

The centre has organised a weekly Skype call to the Bali Mother and Baby House and Amanda is keen to teach the pre kinder class how to count to five in Balinese.

“This experience will enable the children to learn about empathy, poverty, cultural diversity and geography,” Jess said.

“It also gives the children to opportunity to develop positive and responsible values and attitudes as well as teaching them about the different ways we can communicate.

One of the parents at the centre is currently in Bali and has paid a visit to the Mother and Baby House to deliver the pictures the Oakleigh South North Road children had drawn.

The Mother and Baby House is a home for unwanted children and provides a safe space for desperate mothers to safely give up their babies rather than abandoning them in rice fields.

“This really struck a chord with me and it highlights how privileged and lucky we are to have loving families and support networks,” Jess said.
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