True Meaning of Christmas Shared with Less-Privileged Kids with Goodies & Fun by Konkan Overseas Returnees Welfare Association (KORWA)
Mangaluru: Quoting from the Bible Mark 10 verse 45-” For even the Son of Man came not to be served but to serve and to give his life as a ransom for many”, .for the past 22 years, the members of Konkan Overseas Returnees Welfare Association (KORWA), Mangaluru have been working as the hands and feet of Jesus Christ. The members of this organization have always focused on their objective to foster a feeling of brotherhood, lend a helping hand to the needy, and become a ray of hope in their life. KORWA has now organized this incredible Christmas Celebration to share the spirit of Christmas with the ones who are dearest to Jesus. And that’s the dear Children, who are most loved, by God, by Jesus, and by all the members of KORWA. The children’s joy and their smiles are all that was needed by KORWA to make this Joyous Christmas season brighter.
“Being unwanted, unloved, uncared for, forgotten by everybody, I think that is a much greater hunger, a much greater poverty than the person who has nothing to eat”-said Saint Mother Teresa; Quoting Pope Francis where he had said, “In a world where there is so much wealth, so many resources to feed everyone, it is unfathomable that there are so many poor persons. Poverty today is a cry. I believe in the kindness of others, and that I must love them without fear. None of us can think we are exempt from concern for the poor and social justice. The world tells us to seek success, power, and money; God tells us to seek humility, service, and love.”
For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. Therefore the members of KORWA came together to celebrate and rejoice in God’s unconditional love for mankind. I think Konkan Overseas Returnees Welfare Association (KORWA) members have done the right thing again by sharing the spirit of Christmas with the less-fortunate children of the four Orphanages/Ashrams, and this year too they organized the programme with lots of fun and frolic, including a large audience of Children. Every year, KORWA celebrates it with a bang inviting hundreds of less-privileged children from various orphanages, to this BIG programme comprising of music, dance, fun and frolic, and Santa Claus making a guest appearance to cheer the children and adults.
Christmas is life, and these less-privileged children are the future life of the world. Children are God’s gift to us. We should be grateful to the members of KORWA for showing their love towards these children, thereby bringing smiles to their faces. Christmas is all about sharing and giving, and hereby we have the KORWA members sharing part of their wealth with these children, thereby showing the perfect example of Christmas. While the KORWA members entertained the children with goodies, in return the Children entertained them with dances, Christmas carol singing etc and everyone enjoyed themselves thoroughly, equally and joyfully.
Christmas is not a family festival, but is a festival of unity, brotherhood and joy, celebrating the coming of Jesus to save us from sin- and we celebrate his coming as Christmas. Christmas is the time to celebrate joy with our neighbours, the poor and downtrodden forgetting caste, creed and religion. Jesus came to this world and he loved the poor and the downtrodden. To celebrate Christmas with the less fortunate in society, we need to compliment KORWA members for bringing the joy of Christmas to the less-fortunate children.
The programme began with the flag bearers marching to the rhythm, in synchrony, to symbolize love and fraternity, followed by a prayer to invoke God’s blessings. The welcome address was delivered by Lancy Menezes-the President of KORWA, following which the programme was inaugurated by lighting of the lamp by the dignitaries on the dais, namely Chief Guest former MLA J R Lobo, Guest of Honour Fr Vincent Monteiro-Parish Priest of St Sebastian Church, Bendore; joined by Governing Board members of KORWA – Loius Lobo ( Convenor and Former president) Archie Menezes (Advisory Member); Lancy D’ Souza (Vice President); Henry Castelino (Secretary); John Moras Treasurer); Mrs. Greta Gomes (Joint Secretary),; Suraj Rebello (Cultural Secretary), Ronald Vaz and.Henry Fernandes (Governing Council members)
J R Lobo speaking on the occasion said “It is a beautiful programme, celebrating Christmas with the less privileged children, and Korwa members are doing a yeomen service by entertaining and putting smiles on the faces of these children during the Christmas season. It is a true way of celebrating Christmas. It is not a family festival but a festival of unity, brotherhood and joy. We celebrate the coming of Jesus to save us from sin. And we celebrate his coming as Christmas. Christmas is all about Sharing and Giving, and Korwa has done the right way to mark the joyous Christmas among these children “.
Fr Vincent Monteiro spoke on the importance of Christmas, and how it should be celebrated among everyone with peace, joy and happiness. He said, ” Christmas is the time to celebrate joy with our neighbours, the poor and downtrodden forgetting caste, creed and religion. Jesus came to this world and he loved the poor and the downtrodden. We are distributing cakes and sweets within the family. Instead of celebrating Christmas with our people, let’s celebrate Christmas with the less fortunate in a society like Jesus taught. When we understand the true meaning of Christmas and share the joy it will be a real celebration. We need to compliment KORWA members for bringing the joy of Christmas among the less-fortunate children”. “
Louis Lobo, the founder member of Korwa and who initiated the unique Christmas programme with children was felicitated on the occasion. Raising the spirits high was a melodious Mashup of Bollywood music by the duo of gifted singers Ms Bindu and Ms Adlyn with Chris who accompanied them on the guitar. Then came the power-packed performance by the most popular Dance troupe in Mangaluru, the “Show Stoppers”. The Show stoppers have performed more than 2000 shows all over India and abroad, and they are the best in their field. Giving top-notch dance performances wherever they go. The next singer for the evening was not just a singer, he is an entertainer. When he sings he expresses the song deep down from his heart. From a young age, he was enthusiastic about music and singing. And has now developed himself to be a fine crooner- and he is Shreyal Vas
Talented Poi performance by Nathan Benette and Brian Britto was indeed a treat for our eyes, and they mesmerized the audience. The Lady with a Golden voice, put the audience in trans with her rendition of the Super-hit song “Dil hai Chota sa”, was the multi- talented, actor, singer, composer and performer Ms Priya Menezes. The melodious youth of ” One Voice Choir” rendered a few Christmas carols and other songs. Their performance was incredible. A huge round of applause to Elton Martin Ferrao and his team ‘The One Voice Youth Choir’. This choir has about 100 members associated with it. Indeed Martin has done a fantastic job in getting Catholic youth singers all over Mangaluru under one umbrella. Since all of the members sang soulfully and brought alive the spirit of Christmas with their voices.
The leading Choreographer of Mangaluru and the founder of ‘ Showstoppers Dance institute, Sandeep Acharya was felicitated on the occasion. Ajith Singh of St. Aloysius College, a versatile singer with an enchanting voice, who had been a part of several shows and competitions, sang the most trending song Kesariya from the movie Bramhastra.
The Korwa technical support team Ms Shaina Rebello; Rayston Sam D’souza and Ms Jane Mascarenhas were also felicitated. The sponsors were felicitated on the occasion, including Yours Truly (Alfie D’souza) of Team Mangalorean, where Mangalorean.com has been their official media partner for years.
The most exciting performance was witnessing a spectacle that left the audience spellbound was the superb dance performances by Koushik Suvarna and his team. Koushik Suvarna has been a dancer for the past 13 years. Our kudlada Pili has brought laurels to our city by putting up a tough competition at Dance Tamila Dance for Zee Tamil Channel and by being the Finalist of the Kick Dance show on Udaya Television. Then it was time to listen to the divine voice of young Marzin Hussain. The talented Compere of the evening Dr Jasmine D’souza entertained the audience with Goa’s singing sensation Lorna’s song “Bebdo’, which led to a few people stepping up on the dance floor and shaking their body and hips.
Gifts were distributed to the kids, and the entry of Santa Claus brought lots of laughter and cheers among the children, as well as adults. Santa distributed sweets, and goodies and danced with the children. The duo clad in Santa outfits entertained the children, and a joyous atmosphere was spread inside the hall. Before these performances, the children of De Mercedes Orphanage-Paneer;m Infant Jesus Orphanage-Mary Hill; St Gerosa Hostel-Jeppu; Infant Mary’s Hostel-Kulshekar; Shalom Educational & Charitable Trust; Jeevadan- Gurpur; and St Angela’s Girls Home-Bejai entertained the audience with dances depicting the true meaning of Christmas. Henry Castelino proposed the Vote of Thanks, and the entire programme was meticulously and eloquently compared by the Star Attraction of the evening Dr Jasmine D’souza. The programme concluded with a baila dance, and with a sumptuous dinner served by M D’Souza Caterers.
In conclusion, in my perspective, “If we believe Christmas is about peace, then we must convey peace, by giving peace to those around us and by reaching out to others as a peacemaker. If we believe Christmas is about light, then light must shine in our lives, as we brighten up the lives of our brothers and sisters. If Christmas is about love, then love must be at the heart of our lives, as we bring love to those who need to be understood and cared for. If Christmas is about joy, then our lives must radiate joy and we must smile and be happy wherever we are. If Christmas is about hope, hope must grow in our hearts and we must bring hope to those who are down and feel despair.”
” If Christmas is about liberty, liberty must be respected and all people must experience that respect. If Christmas is about God’s Son, then we need to acknowledge His message of peace and love. If Christmas is about the birth of Jesus Christ, then we need to acknowledge this birth with great joy. If Christmas is a celebration of “God with us,” then we need to grow in our realization that God is always in our midst, that God is always with us. May the celebration of the Feast of Christmas bring us all that we desire at this point in our lives”. Kudos and thanks to KORWA for bringing the joy of Christmas into the hearts of these underprivileged Children of seven institutions. Merry Christmas well in advance to all!