During the early part of the day at the Secret Garden children of all ages can come along and join in work and play activities. Many of the children who come should really be in school or gradinitsa (kindergarten) but for many reasons don't attend, often because their parents' lack of education makes it difficult for them to take such a step with their own children. Other factors such as extreme poverty and the transitory lives some of our families lead add to the difficulties of sending a child to school. We are trying to encourage parents to allow us to help prepare children to be integrated into the system this coming Autumn. Some are already too old for normal school so we will have to look at other options, others hopefully will be able to enroll. Sometimes when a child comes to us for the first time they literally cannot even hold a pencil or crayon and to see them make progress is truly amazing.
One wee girl, Vetta who started coming in January this year wouldn't even sit on a chair for five seconds (I'm not exaggerating) and she drove us crazy by her refusal to do anything at all that we asked her to do ... now she sits for as much as an hour colouring in, drawing and trying to write letters and is really sweet and desperate for our approval. For mother's day on 8th March Vetta made a card for her mum and learned a wee poem! Just look at her below on the left in the red top, isn't she a sweetheart?