“You do the Hokey Pokey and you turn yourself around. That’s what it’s all about!”
When World Vision ambassadors Hi-5 visited Myanmar earlier this year, group members Ainsley, Dayen, Mary, Stevie and Tanika spent time singing and dancing with local children, and learning about their lives.
“We went to a pre-school and we did this exchange of song and dance and games, and they taught us some of their dance moves, and we taught them the Hokey Pokey and they loved that,” said Tanika. “Seeing their smiles, hearing the laughter in the room was fantastic.”
During their visit, Hi-5 met sponsored children and saw how World Vision’s work is making a vital impact in their young lives.
“We met Naymin Tun, he’s a sponsored child, and we went to his school,” said Stevie. “Thanks to World Vision he’s learning and getting the proper tools to help his community. To know that World Vision is literally changing his life and his world, as well as the community around him is really special,” he said.
“Seeing the change with World Vision’s work, seeing World Vision help these communities, it’s inspiring and motivational. It feels like anything is possible,” said Dayen.
Tanika learns how to make a pigeon feeder with a local youth group, which the group sells at a local market. Photographer: Khaing Min Htoo/World Vision
Meeting Hi-5 was also an exciting and memorable experience for the children and their communities. Before long, there was music in the air and children on their feet.
“They loved the L.O.V.E. song, everybody does, but they loved it because they got to learn English,” said Mary.
“‘Chit del’ means love so when we taught it we said L.O.V.E. spells love – chit del – and they got really excited. I loved their response! Learning the language and sharing the love, that was really special,” she said.
“Singing and dancing with children is always so much fun, their energy is so contagious. In one of the villages we all just got in there amongst the children and started dancing, it was really cool. That was so much fun, usually we’re on the stage and we create a mosh pit but being in that mosh pit was incredible!” said Dayen.
Local children share their reading and writing exercises with Dayen and Ainsley at a community centre. Photographer: Khaing Min Htoo/World Vision
Hi-5 know that children everywhere love to sing and dance, especially at Christmas time! Having travelled and performed the world over, Hi-5 have enjoyed festive appearances in a variety of places in South East Asia and have always enjoyed performing back home at events such as Carols by Candlelight and the Giftorium openings in Myer.
“We love the excitement on the kids’ faces when they hear Santa’s sleigh bells in our Christmas classic, ‘Santa Claus is coming’. The parents and kids really love it!” said Ainsley.
“I love it when everyone gets into the Christmas spirit. It really is the most beautiful time of the year!” said Tanika.
Having made a special connection with children in Myanmar, Hi-5 share their 2015 Christmas wish for Naymin Tun and all the children they met.
“I wish them happiness and health and that they get to spend their Christmas surrounded by people they love,” said Dayen.
“Meeting the children in Myanmar earlier this year was absolutely incredible,” said Stevie. “We hope they have a wonderful Christmas and get to spend time with their families. We will be thinking of them.”
“World Vision are changing the lives of so many people and putting a smile on their faces for Christmas. It’s so important to share the love especially at Christmas and a great way to give is through World Vision,” said Mary.