Children Summer Camp
Lajee Center’s “Children’s Summer Camp” annual event hosted by Lajee with the unwavering support from the Mennonite Central Committee (MCC) is a fantastic opportunity for children to form new relationships, learn and most of all have fun during the hot summer months when they’re out of school. About 150 kids aged 6 – 16 participate in the two-week camp, all coming from Dahesha, Aida, and Al-Azza camps, along with other areas in Bethlehem, Doha, and Beit Jala. At the start of the camp the children are divided into 5 groups based on age and their time is equally shared so they can all have the chance to participate in the camp’s sports, music and arts & crafts activities.
Along with recreational activities the children engage in workshops where they are taught about the Right of Return and have the chance to research their family’s original villages. The purpose of this is to educate the children of their rights and current circumstances as well as giving them an understanding of their roots. After this the children are involved in a march at the Church of Nativity to support political prisoners, encouraging them from a young age to be politically aware and active as the unfortunate reality is that the political situation affects every aspect of their lives. This means that by understanding the Palestinian struggle from an early age it will help them deal with the situation as individuals but also will give them the tools to help their community in the coming years.
During the camp the children go on fun field trips, where they can spend a leisure day enjoying the cool swimming pool or wild excitement in Ramallah’s amusement park. These activities are important for the children as most of them wouldn’t have the means to enjoy them outside of the camp due to financial situations and travel constrictions, whereas children all across the world have the right to smile, laugh and play with friends. This is why Lajee works tirelessly each year to make this camp possible. The 10 youth volunteers from the Lajee, although exhausted, feel unbelievably glad that they were able to bring joy into these children lives and are looking forward to next year. Without these amazing youths the Children’s Summer Camp would not be possible.