United in the Camp: Holiday at it’s Best
By Kevin Anyonge
A society that cares for its children plays a big role in the nurturing and future investment in children. Showing the parental love and caring builds towards growth and development of a child at a tender age.
Dignified Children International has been spreading love and care to children by holding a series of holiday camps in Korogocho, Kibera,Dandora and Tambaya. This camps help children from impoverished communities by offering holistic child development, to break the cycle of poverty. They do this by offering tri-annual children camps where they bring children from different communities from the rural areas and slums of Nairobi.Children are always engaged in a wide range of activities, lifeskill,mentorship,drama,music,dance,art and many more.
The august edition 2018 of the children camp happened in Tambaya village,Nyeri County. Tambaya a village of approximate population of 3,500 people located on a steep slope with a number of ridges divided by small streams.The village boasts of having a ‘Big River’ called Gura, that is known to be the fastest in Africa.
The inclusive camp brought together 320 children, 30 of whom were children with special needs happened at Tambaya High School,The camps theme was drawn from that of the Day of the African child LeaveNoChildBehind. A team of 20 Volunteers in different professions including caregivers, teachers and trainers of children engaged them them in different actives of music, dance,leadership,drama,sports and more others.
Speaking to Phoebe Maina, founder Dignified Children International said ” This August we had our biggest ever camp which was themed leave no child behind where we included children living with disability,this was the first time to have them join our camp because we wanted them to feel included, to feel loved and cared for and also to train other children on how to take care of children with special needs and how to involve them in school, in the community, in church and also all public events.”
Children who attended the camp were very grateful to the organizers,as they interacted,Learnt new things and had fun with each other,most of them were happy and longed for the next camp to be held. Mugo one of the special needs child said he had enjoyed,learnt new things and he was grateful to be at the camp.
The Board Chair Professor Charles Gachuri expressed his sentiments for chairing the organization for almost four years now and how he has involved himself in the camp activities.He spoke on the inclusion of children with special needs and its importance ”Most amazing thing is the inclusion of the children living with disability, we have seen them bring out their real self by participating and also playing with the other children,showing that it was a great event in which it was their first ever.”
Eugene Karoki a standard six pupil who helped with sign language played a key role in assisting the special need children at the camp, in his own opinion he said ”I have learnt that even the people who have disabilities can do greater things than people who have ability.”
Rehab Muthumbi a full volunteer for the past years said ”Its been of great of pleasure working and dealing with children,empowering them in one way or another and helping them to be tomorrows leaders.”
The camp ended in success, a one week interactive camp of making new friends and learning.
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