This time of year is really strange. It's the run up to Christmas, so there is a lot going on at school - performances, parties, decorations... - and it can all get rather hectic. The children become more and more excited.
As in previous years, our classroom has an Advent calendar - with a difference. Rather than 'getting' - a chocolate, sweet or other treat - on opening each day in the calendar. the class are giving. Each day, some of the children bring some money to help support the Tumaini project for AIDS widows and orphans in Tanzania. The children take turns to count and record the total for each day. At the end of term, we'll send the money off. It's a local project, started by some of the doctors here: a married couple who used their sabbatical a few years ago to work in a mission hospital there.
Just £1 is enough to feed, clothe and educate a child for a whole week. Just over £50 for the year. Every penny given goes to Tanzania - the two doctors do all the administration and cover any costs themselves.
Some of the children have really taken to this idea. It is touching to see their interest grow daily. An emphasis away from the 'give me' culture we have here.