Closing Time

Cast of Characters:

WPI Flamingo Team- John, Kim, Mike, Maggie

Community Members- Cathy, Elizabeth, Merelda, Mark, Lenrika, Brenda, Parents of children enrolled, children enrolled in the crèche


Little Paradise Educare Centre

The team arrived to Flamingo at 10am on our last day out in the field with cut watermelon, cookies, graduation certificates, a banner, and bittersweet smiles. We were excited to see how the ceremony would play out, but knew in the back of our heads that it was our last day. When we arrived parents were seated inside the crèche and the children were off to the side. The ten children graduating wore white dresses and dress shirts and looked clean and groomed.

We got right to work setting up the banner and giving the certificates to Cathy and Brenda to sign. We helped Brenda put blue caps and gowns on the graduating children. Merelda and Cathy went to round up the missing parents for the ceremony to begin. When everyone was present and settled down, John started the ceremony off, like Cathy had asked him to, with the importance of the crèche for the children and honouring the hard work that Cathy, Brenda, and the governing body have put in to make it all possible.

Cathy then had everyone stand while she said a prayer. One by one she then called the names of the children not graduating so they could get their end of the year progress report and get their picture taken with their parents. As each child went to receive their progress report, everyone applauded and cheered loudly. Next up were the graduates! Their names were called one by one to get their certificate and get their picture taken with Cathy, Brenda, and parents. The proud smiles on the parent’s faces were very apparent. One mother had tears in her eyes as she was getting her picture taken with her graduating daughter. The graduating class then took a group picture with Cathy and Brenda. Parents were scrambling to take pictures with their phones. They were happy to hear that we were going to print out the pictures that we had taken and give them to Cathy to distribute.

Once the ceremony was over, our team got up and thanked the governing body members and gave them their certificates for SAL participation, thank you cards, and gifts. There was a lot of hugging and some tears here and there. It was dawning on everyone that the day was coming to an end.

We then brought out the watermelon pieces and cookies for the children and parents.



This day was a very emotional one ranging from proud parents to sad goodbyes. The pride that was beaming from the parents as their child went to get a progress report or certificate was enormous. This was great to see as it proves that these parents really do want what is best for their children and see the importance of early childhood development.

This event was also great to experience because it brought an end to our project. Throughout these eight weeks we have been working towards making Little Paradise a prospering organisation and registered with the government. Seeing Little Paradise’s first graduating class really showed how successful it has been this past year, and will hopefully be the first of many future graduation classes.

When we gave gifts and thank you cards to Lenrika, Mark, Merelda, Elizabeth, Cathy, and Brenda, emotions started flowing. Brenda almost cried thanking us, while Merelda was sniffling back tears. This in turn made Kim and Maggie get watery eyes and passed on to Cathy, Lenrika, and Elizabeth. Everyone kept thanking us for all of our help during the time we were here, which gave us the sensation that we really did come far and grew close with the governing body and community of Flamingo Heights. They are people that have grown dear to our hearts and will be truly missed when we head back home.