Our Children’s Camp: A safe haven for all who need it
The unmistakable sound of excited chatter and laughter fills the air. Teachers and mentors buzz around making sure that every child is fully included in each activity. And as the week goes on, the excitement gets louder and louder. All of this happiness and joy means one thing...one of our triannual children’s camps is underway! Whether it is improving their football or dancing skills, learning how to sing and play the guitar or benefiting from mentoring and counselling sessions...every child is treated equally. And as the hardship caused by Coronavirus restrictions gets worse, the safe haven of our camps is needed now more than ever.
The continuing lockdown has left the most marginalised children in Kenya isolated with little support from State services. Multidimensional poverty amongst children under the age of 18 years old has simply exploded. More than 1 million children or 52% of this age group are now deprived of their basic needs. But this is just the tip of the iceberg. Another 7 million children are now living in households without guaranteed access to an appropriate level of nutrition or sanitation. And the children most at-risk such as orphans and those with disabilities have been the worst affected. But unfortunately this is only half of the story.
Up and down the country, young girls from the most underprivileged communities have been faced with the hidden pandemic of gender-based violence. Often trapped at home with their abuser, girls as young as 12 years old have been subjected to extreme domestic and sexual abuse. Others have become unwitting victims of child marriage, female genital mutilation and even murder! And for the young girls battling to survive this terrible abuse, it is slowly getting worse. In the first 3 months of this year alone, 877 cases were recorded nationally. The reality is that without the safety our children's camps many more young girls will be put at-risk.
By walking through our doors, both boys and girls enter a safe haven where they can relax and just be children. They can enjoy days of endless fun and learning while having access to leading mentors and child counsellors. And there is no worrying about where their next meal is coming from. Each child is guaranteed 3 square meals per day during the camp, so all they have to worry about is what sport they want to play next!
As the pandemic continues to wreak havoc, the number of boys and girls that need our help is increasing by the day. Our team is more determined than ever to provide a place to every single child that needs it. But we cannot do it alone, we need your help.
Find out how you can help us here.