By H. Prado and L. Mizne
Last term, on the 8th of December, the British Society Community Service hosted an event at the library for elderlies. Almost all British Society members came to school for a fun afternoon, including some Old Paulean’s, which made their experience even more memorable as they saw all the changes within the school community.
The British Society is a charity which works to improve the lives of both British elderlies as well as Brazilian residents of “Casa Madre Teodora dos Idosos”. It has worked very closely with St. Paul's in the past, and will continue to do so in the future, especially with the PTA and with enrichment groups. The community service group is composed of Form 1 and 3 pupils, which along with the British Society staff, are currently working on making a memory book for them. In the book, the elderlies from both Madre Teodora dos Idosos and the British community in Sao Paulo will be able to read about each other’s cherishing memories, as well look at photographs which compare the school community in the past with the present day.
During the visit, a variety of activities were prepared for them: They could engage in board games, arts and crafts and do a tour around school. However, the activity that seemed to captivate them the most was talking about their stories and reminiscing about their pasts together. By chatting with them, the pupils learnt about what studying at St. Paul's was like during WWII, what it was like to be an immigrant during rough times, what changed, and what remained the same in the school. This experience not only connected the pupils who studied at school with the British community in São Paulo but also, provided a fun and nostalgic time for these ladies and men.
Additionally, at the end of the event, a birthday cake was given to Helen, who had her birthday on the same day. It was an excellent way to end the day, with all the elderlies receiving flowers and a piece of cake in honor of their dear friend.
In the future, we would visit the Casa Madre Teodora and speak to those elderlies as well, not only so that we can learn about their stories, but also so that the elderlies from both groups can learn about each other’s life stories through the memory book. Due to the COVID-19 situation, however, the visit may be delayed.