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Harbour Light builds kites for children

Spreading joy: residents of the Salvation Army’s Harbour Light programme are looking to sell kites

Colourful kites made by residents on a Salvation Army programme will be up for sale despite Covid-19 pandemic restrictions.The Harbour Light addiction and rehabilitation centre has been given special permission to sell dozens of the client creations by the health department, as long as strict social-distancing is in force. Clients at Harbour Light dedicated hours to their creations, a traditional symbol of Easter hope, to help fund activities that help get their lives back on track.Beverly Daniels, the charity’s executive director for social services, said that the kites “fly off the wall” when members of the community visit the Harbour Light centre to choose their favourites in normal times. But measures in place to limit the spread of the coronavirus meant that the Salvation Army had to rethink its plan to sell them.Ms Daniels said: “For this year, I’ve talked with the health department about how we could accommodate this and it appears that we have the green light, as long as we are observing the social-distancing piece. We are looking at having kites, provided the weather is nice, outside lined up along the wall. We will have someone outside at a table with gloves on and we will accommodate the sale of the kites.”Ms Daniels explained there were a lot of benefits for the men who took part in the kite making.She said: “Psychologically, it takes them back to a happy time in their lives when they did this and it reconnects them with that childhood tradition that was pleasant — that’s one of the big advantages. “Secondly, it allows them to use their creativity because every group, depending on who they are, the colours and patterns are never the same from year-to-year so the personality of each client is reflected in the kite that they produce.“This year it has been amazing for me to see one particular gentleman has been drawn towards the pink, and he’s creating kites that little girls would love.“I don’t know whether he has in mind his own little girl, because I know he has children, but that’s where he’s been leaning.”Ms Daniels added: “This has been very appealing to him.”She explained that Harbour Light, on King Street, served “people who have become vulnerable, sometimes as a result of choices they’ve made and other times around childhood trauma or childhood experiences”.It has nine residents going through either a treatment phase or aftercare and life-skills programmes. Ms Daniels added that $1 from the price of each kite would be donated to a Salvation Army mission in Mozambique, to help trafficked women.She said: “They’re doing their bit to contribute to the mission.”Ms Daniels added she expected up to 100 kites to be available from 3pm today and tomorrow.It was hoped that although the island will move to a 24-hour curfew on Saturday, families might buy the kites to fly in their yards. Prices will start at $25, with speciality examples at $35 or $40 and kite frames will be available for $15. Ms Daniels said that if the kites could not be displayed outside because of bad weather, prospective buyers could contact Harbour Light on 292-2586.