Summercamps

Every summer, Karama outdoes itself by organizing a summercamp for between 60 and 150 children of Deheishe and the surrounding areas. These camps are educational fun with games, day trips, several workshops as well as educational and recreational activities. The children attend workshops about different topics of their choice. We also have themed days, so that the children learn something new without even noticing. The activities are run not only at Karama, but also in the wider Deheishe and Bethlehem area, taking advantage of the space various parks offer. These summercamps wouldn't be possible without the efforts and hard work of our Palestinian volunteers, who are the main organizers.

Find out more about our previous summercamps below!

Summercamp 2010

Our 2010 annual summer camp was a boatload of fun and encompassed all of our local volunteers, as well as our international volunteers. We had over 75 participants, aged between 10-15, at our welcoming location. The children had the opportunity to express themselves creatively, athletically, and socially.

A variety of activities were organized, including separation into majmuww'a (Arabic for groups), where each group had a theme song. In addition, we utilized our volunteers’ creativity and played games like bowling, pop-the-balloon-on-the-person's-leg, and find the coin in the flour. On the creative side of things, the children had the opportunity to paint and draw with a variety of mediums including standard oil paints, crayon, colored pencil, and graphite pencil.

During the second week of the camp, the campers also had the opportunity to leave Deheishe to swim, a rare treat!

Huda Ghalya Summercamp 2006

"The war goes on around us and the children and youth of Karama are noticeably affected- if we get the chance to look beyond the jokes and smiling faces that they usually offer us. One person that has etched herself into everyone’s conscience, is the girl who had her entire family killed by an Israeli rocket while they were having a picnic on the beach in Gaza. Her terrified face and loud pleading to them to come back to her and to forgive her if she had done something wrong, is difficult to suppress from our conscience.

This year’s Summer Academy was dedicated to all the children who suffer the violence and subordination that are consequences of an occupation. There has been a discussion whether or not we should proceed with the planned activities despite the tragic circumstances in Palestine and Lebanon, and we argued that it will somehow be a double punishment for the youth if the normal “treat” of the annual Summer Academy would be changed too much. We believe they will be strengthened by knowledge along with games and fun.

The Summer Academy has been planned and accomplished despite the small means Karama had for this event. We tried to make the most of the money and time and feel that we managed to give the youth both recreational time, as well as valuable learning experience.

The activities have mainly taken place outdoors and in various parks around Bethlehem and Deheishe. The structure of the Summer Academy followed a similar one to previous years, with some minor changes. The youth started by dividing themselves into the two groups Media-Democracy and Social Knowledge. They were then given introductions to the topics. A part of the workshop time was spent playing Problem-Solving and Ice-Breaking games. This was to strengthen the feeling of belonging as well as recharging their batteries.

In the Media Democracy group some of the topics that have been dealt with was the History of Democracy and the various forms of it, Election Procedures, Human Rights, Freedom of Speech and media’s responsibility when for example reporting a conflict. The method of the workshop was alternated between lectures and smaller group work. In addition there was an Environmental Cleaning Project that ran alongside the main workshops."

Summercamp 2005

From June 29th until July 12th 48 youth in the age of 14 to 17 years and seven supervisors took part in Karama’s third Summer Academy in an outdoor area in Doha, near Bethlehem. Originally set for 10 days we extended the camp to 13 days at the participants’ own request.

Each day from around 8 a.m. until 4 p.m. the youth were joined regularly a workshop of their own choice (Art & Culture –, Environment & Health –, Children Rights – or Media – workshop). In that two hour period, each group dealt in a different way with the academy’s motto “Children’s Rights”. In our daily schedule we also allowed for further common activities like sports, music and games.

Sometimes all the participants or a single group visited other institutions and places as part of the workshop programmes and discovered the nearby environment. In general we had a colourful programme offering the participants a good balance between work and fun. A final celebration at Karama’s centre, where every group presented their results, rounded off our successful Summer Academy.

The 2005 Summer Academy was funded by the Federal Republic of Germany, represented by the Federal Minister for Foreign Affairs.

 

Summercamp 2004

In June 2004 Karama arranged a camp for school children between the age of 9 and 17. During nine days Karama offered the children different activities - each day had a theme. One day was concentrating on sports activities, such as football, volleyball and running. Other days focused on a mental health support course by a trained psychologist, on drawing or on reading stories. The children and the leaders from Karama also tracked through the village of Artas to the Solomon's pools for a picnic and some playing.

 

Another day the group went to the SOS children village's orphanage in Bethlehem. The children from Deheishe then performed some voluntary work planting trees and flowers and, not at the least, made new acquaintances with the children at SOS. Karama also arranged a trip to the Dead Sea for a day. The original destination was Jericho, but plans were changed since the Israeli army refused to let the buses with the children into Jericho. Despite the difficulties of the trip the children were happy visiting the Dead Sea area, for some of the kids this was the first time they saw the sea.

All in all, about 100 children participated at the summer camp, along with ten leaders. The summer camp ended with an "open day" during which the children's mothers joined workshops about child rearing. At the same time the children were discussing their relations to their mothers. Later during the day the women and children were brought together to discuss theses issues. Afterwards the children took the opportunity to show the women the dabke, the Palestinian traditional dance they had learnt as well as jars they had painted. The day ended by a performance of a theater group from Jerusalem and a big cake-party.

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