From the 23rd of July till the 9th of August, Lajee held its final children's summer camp of the year - the Al-Quds Lana Summer Camp courtesy of MCC. Around 170 children from Aida camp, Alazzeh camp, Dheisheh Camp, Adoha city and Beit Sahour, Beit Jala city took part in the camp. It was a great opportunity for the children to socialise with one another and learn from each other throughout the duration of the camp.
The camp was both an educational and recreational one. The children took part in a library program where they were taught to read, write and present in order to improve their competencies in the English language. These workshops were conducted by volunteers in partnership with trained professional educators and a Palestinian theatre group “Tantoura”.
They also had discussions of Palestinian Issues and went on educational field trips to the environment center in Beit Jala, and a hike in Battir village.
One of the volunteers of the summer camp shared: “I graduated Media and Press studies from Al-Quds University. I volunteered during the Lajee Summer Camp and taught the children culture and media. I want to teach children that the camera is a good and constructive weapon to document the situation in Palestine. I also gave the children many classes on the Palestinian issues. I feel that while I gave these classes, it was useful and important for the children to know about the Palestinian struggle and their rights, in order for them to feel connected to one another, the history, the land, and each other.”
In addition, the children had talks with the Community Health Workers Unit of Lajee, who taught them personal and dental hygiene, first aid and how to test for and monitor diabetes and hypertension.
A member of the Unit said that “in the summer camp I gave clinical courses and health education to the children. I taught them about blood pressure, diabetes testing, dental care, personal hygiene as well as first aid courses. I think it was important for the children to be aware of how they could look after themselves and their communities better. The children were very excited and keen to learn about health and medical practices. I look forward to expanding the role of the community health workers in the future summer camps.”
The children also had many fun games and activities with both local and international volunteers. They played sports, sang and danced, made handicrafts and went on a recreational field trip to a water park as well.
It was a great summer camp where the children were able to learn and discuss important issues with others from different social backgrounds as well as have fun during their summer holidays. Many thanks to MCC for funding the summer camp for the children for the second year. The program continues to grow and impact more children yearly and we can only hope that it continues to do so in future.