Last week, the members of the Trinity Kid Companions held their annual children’s carnival. For those unaware, the event is for the residents of the St. Benedict Children’s Home and Day Nursery as well as the neighboring Bread of Life Orphanage. The children living at these homes are primarily orphans with a wide array of special needs.
While the student group works with the residents of the home year round, the carnival is a next-level day for everyone involved. The residents enjoy a long afternoon of fun, games, and other adaptive activities with their adult companions from Trinity School of Medicine. Read on for the story of the day and gallery.At the start of the day, Trinity students were greeted by Sr. Nyra-Anne Pajotte, director of the St. Benedict facility, then each companion met up with one to two children-companions as their charges for the afternoon to get reacquainted before setup began.
The carnival is divided by specific stations on the grounds of the home. Face painting, carnival games like ring toss, bean bag toss, empty-can toppling, and "fishing" are all available. The children were taken from game to game, winning a ticket with every successful attempt, with a prize available for three tickets. There were also athletic games; various races, soccer, or just playing catch, depending on the abilities and interests of each child. Balloons, snacks and treats, as well as indoor crafts, rounded out the day.
Kid Companions president and Trinity student Sam Brosman was enthusiastic about the event, “The carnival is an excellent way for them to have creative fun,” he said, “for us it’s a great outlet to have fun after studying!” He spoke about the group’s satisfaction with the way the day went. “For some children, it was more than just a game,” he acknowledged, “Some of our young friends have hand-eye coordination issues and other challenges. Each of them chose to persevere, giving them not just a diversion, but a major personal victory when they finally came out on top.”
Just before the students returned to Trinity, they remembered Sr. Nyra-Anne Pajotte talking to one of her colleagues earlier that day about a large tent she needed to assemble for the next day. The medical students immediately stopped what they were doing and went into the St. Benedict storage shed to gather and assemble the 400 sq. foot tent for the director.
Kid Companions was founded in 2015 and has only continued to grow in both its roster and its impact. Trinity's admissions process specifically selects for students with this sort of humanitarian drive, operating on the premise that those who care make excellent doctors, not only fueling their own performance as students and physicians, but elevating their colleagues in residency and beyond.
Scroll on for additional photos. (Pictures by Trinity student Ameer Shazley.)