Karama Summercamps

Read about past summercamps and activities, and check out our pictures here!

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.

Summercamp 2013

This summer Karama started off with a very special activity. Our long-term supporters know we have brought together kids in different settings before - exchanges with Denmark preceded in previous years. This year however, we arranged a different coming together...  The village Khirbat Zakariya, became completely surrounded by settlements adheishe karama summer camps the Etzion settlement block was constructed around it. The villagers face intimidation from settlers who pressure them to leave their land. They are not allowed to build on their land, resulting in a lack of living space let alone safe recreation places! Settler intimidation makes it difficult or sometimes impossible for the villagers to travel or receive guests. This makes the kids here isolated from other Palestinian communities. Though it is only a small distance away from Deheishe our communities barely meet. So Karama teamed up with UNRWA and Education Department to bring together the children from Khribat Zakariya and Deheishe Camp for a week full of activities, new experiences and new friends.  The camp encouraged the children to interact, make friends and learn about each others' situation. Educational and fun activities were organized with the help of social workers, aimed at providing a positive outlet for the children's energy. Karama was able to provide all the costs of the camp, which included transportation, food, day trips, equipment and t-shirts for all the 65 participants. 

summercamp Khirbet Zakaria ... summer camp interaction khirbet zakaria deheishe

Children from Deheishe and Khirbet Zakaria took part in several trips and group activities as well as prepared a closing ceremony together. After the first games to get familiar with each other, the youth was divided in groups according to their age to work together in the activities. The kids were challenged to establish new contacts, learn more about their country as well as themselves. The help of our local volunteers and social workers was key in this - they developed a beneficial program for all age-groups involved. The collaboration with the school directors and Karama staff was a great success, which was displayed again by a very warm and joyous closing ceremony.

summer camp interaction khirbet zakaria deheishe

This experience made a lasting impression on the kids, who benefit greatly from building new friendships and getting to know their peers. The interaction during the camp thought them new things and contributed to their feeling of confidence and self-worth. In Palestine we are sometimes even unable to meet our neighbors in the next village, but this summer camp tackled this problem for a short time! 

 

 

Summercamp 2010

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Summercamp 2009

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Huda Ghalya Summercamp 2006

camp7"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.

camp8The 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."