Monday, 18 March 2013

Sok Kakada's Story

With his routine already planned, sixteen year old Kakada blows his whistle loudly and announces the start of class. He is an older orphan instructor at Happyland orphanage, located on the outskirts of Phnom Penh.  Kakada, with the help of his fellow older orphan instructors, lead the stretching routine for the twenty-five participating children.  Stretching is quickly followed by aerobic exercise, games, and then cool-down stretches.  The hour long session leaves the orphans exhausted but full of smiles and cheer. 
Kakada and Happyland orphanage are participants of CamKids and One-2-One’s Happy Program.  Members of the program are teenage orphans who are taught how to instruct younger orphans in their orphanage in aerobic exercise. Benefits include an instruction of aerobic and leadership skills. 
Kakada enjoys working with the younger orphans, “I like to train everyone; I also enjoy the health benefits.” He acknowledges some of the difficulties of being a leader and was at first afraid of teaching such a big class. “But because I practice every week I do not worry so much.  Sometimes the children don’t listen, but my assistants help keep control of the children.” He has also noticed a big change in the orphans over the months, “Before the children could do only a little exercise; now they are full of energy and do exercises by themselves!” 
The aerobic gym session that Kakada teaches is weekly at Happyland, with CamKids funded One-2-One instructors coming by monthly to critique, evaluate, and offer advice. Kakada has been involved with aerobics since 2010 and was thrilled at originally participating in the Happy Program at Olympic Stadium.  He is very grateful, saying “Thanks to Camkids for letting me know about aerobics and to know about the competition in the sport.” 
The Happy Program also provides a monthly instructor training program; helping instructors build up their routines, practice teaching in front of groups, and exchanging advice with other orphans from Phnom Penh. Kakada’s success in the program serves as a model for younger orphans, who love participating in his aerobic exercise sessions.

No comments: