IronTree recently contributed to the Awana Camp 2019 that was held for 45 children from the gang-ravaged Cape Flats.
The camp reached out to 10 to 13-year-olds, who were invited to participate in workshops on leadership, health and safety and the performing arts, and took place at at Pelican Lodge on the shore of Zeekoevlei.
There were 45 campers, many from dysfunctional homes where they’re exposed to gangsterism in their everyday lives. For some of these children gangsterism even presents a glamorous future as it’s the only way they know.
Awana facilitators reached out to these children through workshops that focused on leadership, skills development, health, safety, arts and crafts, encouraging them to understand that despite what they hear, they are precious, and can grow up to have a worthy purpose in their adult lives.
Regional coordinator of Awana Western Cape, and senior technician at IronTree, Grant Leonard, said: ‘Many of the children received more care on the camp than they do in their own homes. It was heartening to see them really listen and participate. They didn’t want the camp to end.’
The camp was a balance of early morning exercise, talks and activities, and time to watch the flamingos in the vlei. These activities, plus the jacuzzi and trampoline, were a real treat for the children, who also mentioned the very delicious food, showers and swimming in the pool.
It was no wonder that several asked to stay another week, and are looking forward to next year’s camp.
Through care and guidance, and a whole lot of fun, Awana impressed upon them what the world has to offer, and that gangsterism isn‘t a worthwhile way forward.
“At the end of the camp we had the children commit to be the change in their community, and to tell their friends what they learned,” said Grant Leonard, who felt the week with the children had been hugely beneficial.
If you’d like to get involved with the Awana, or make a donation towards the initiative, let us know or visit their website and reach out directly.