Hello to you from Novi Sad in Serbia. Do you like laughing? We love it when we hear a joke that makes us Roar with laughter. What makes you laugh?
In Novi Sad we met a lady called Olivera who loves to make people laugh. She teaches ‘Laughter Yoga’ because laughing is good for your body and for your mind. Laughter yoga is where you do lots of games and laugh lots and lots.
Olivera volunteers at a ‘drop in’ centre for street children in Novi Sad, Serbia. In Novi Sad, just like cities in every country around the world, there are lots of children who live and work on the street. We saw some 7 year old children collecting paper in huge trollies to sell for money. We saw some 5 year old boys and girls begging for money instead of going to school. Some children do go to school, before they go to work on the streets, but they are sometimes scared of going to school. Some children collect scrap materials from rubbish dumps to sell and so have dirty hands and sometimes get sick. This made us feel very sad as we think all children should be able to learn and play and live in houses with their families.
This ‘drop in’ centre helps the children who are working on the street. It is called a ‘drop in’ centre because the children can go whenever they want. The centre is fantastic. It is a safe place where the children can come to get food, get their clothes washed and also get help with their homework. They can also meet and play with other street children. There is music for them to dance to and toys for them to play with.
Olivera goes to the centre to teach ‘laughter yoga’.
We started off by playing a name game where we had to remember everyone’s name and say them back very quickly. Lots of people made mistakes and it was very funny. We also played a game where we had to be a laughing car and also a laughing lawnmower. We also had to draw a smiley face on our thumb and go and wiggle it at people. This made the children laugh a lot. After every game we had to shout:
We are great,
We are great,
We thought the street children were great. They showed us their dancing skills. One boy could moonwalk like Michael Jackson. He tried to teach Dino but Dino fell over onto his back and couldn’t get up! Hahaha
We were sad to leave the ‘drop in’ centre but we were inspired by the amazing work that Olivera, Nikolas and all the other people do to help the street children in Novi Sad. You are great, you are great…YAY!
The next day, Olivera also arranged for the TV crews to interview us about our journey.
We also met the Novi Sad Cycling Team and had a photo with them and the Laughter Yoga Class.
This girl is the under 15 Balkan Champion cyclist. She has won many competitions and practises her cycling a lot so she can improve and get better. What could you get better at this week at school?
We team did some more laughter yoga on the bank of the River Danube. They look funny and were laughing lots.
Our owner was chosen to go on stage. He was shy but made everyone laugh with his crazy dancing.
We were sad to leave Novi Sad and wanted to help at the centre some more.
Do you think your school could raise some money to help buy the centre some more books and toys for the street children? Could you speak to your teacher about having a non-uniform day at school….perhaps your class could make a joke book to sell…help us laugh….
Thank you Olivera…roar!
If you want to learn more about Laughter Yoga you can visit their page
Laughter Yoga in Novi Sad
laughter yoga website including a Cycle Africa interview
If you are a teacher and think your school could help raise awareness for street children then please contact Dino and Lion’s owner at firstname.lastname@example.org