As school comes to a close in Haiti, DreamRoot launches its two-month long summer camp for students in Les Cayes! We welcomed 123 student grades 1-7 to have fun, learn new skills and build friendships that will last a lifetime.
Need for Summer Programming
In a previous blog article, we shared that Haiti is currently dealing with one of its most difficult seasons. The situation in the community near Les Cayes continues to be a daily challenge. The gangs have taken over the capital city, Port-au-Prince, access to food and supplies have been limited. The merchants who are taking the risk to travel the distance from Port-au-Print to Les Cayes do so at a great personal risk and are often forced to pay off the gangs to pass through. Due to the extra costs, food and other materials that do make it through are often more expensive for regular citizens who are already having difficulty surviving the day-to-day.
Many families often travel to Port-au-Prince to visit family during summer break. However, due to the situation of the country being overrun by gangs, and high gas and food prices, travel has come unsafe and too expensive for most families, giving them no choice but to stay home for the summer.
Two-Month Summer Camp
There are no summer educational programs for the kids in this community. To ensure the students maintain their momentum and have productive activities this summer, DreamRoot hosts a two-month long summer camp for 123 students grades 1 through 7. This program will allow the school to meet four days a week from 9am-2pm.
The summer camp provides the kids an activity away from home, helping them to stay off the streets or at home alone where they often don’t have enough food or a proper support system. The school will include activities, lessons, and proper food so they can continue to grow physically and mentally.
This educational but fun outlet for them will help them have a great and formative summer where they will build upon skills and lessons, setting them up for success and help them stay connected with community, getting a nutritious meal, and having someone look over them.
Camp activities will include creative writing, singing, dancing (learning choreography), art (drawing, coloring, and painting), skits (writing and performing them), as well as writing and reading poetry (similar to the recent Teachers Appreciation Day we hosted – to learn more, check out our recent social media post, it is definitely worth the watch). We will also concentrate more on learning to read and speak English and touching up on some of the lessons they will be learning in the class they will be in next school year in order to prepare them in some small way.
A note about the creative arts outlet like creative writing, art, dancing, poetry – these are all powerful tools to use in trauma healing, processing emotions and thoughts the kids may be dealing with due to growing up in such a tough location with often less than ideal home lives. These are all tools they often have access to. Participating in these fun and developmental activities within a safe and supportive group setting, will provide healing, give them a support system of role models and help them make lifelong friends.
The kids will be grouped based on grade and will rotate each activity for a period of 30 minutes per activity each day.
At the end of summer camp, each group (or capstone) includes a presentation for the parents, and any community member who wants to attend, where the kids showcase what they learned and display their artwork. The program ends just before the next school year.
Running programs like this are important. It provides enriching and formative experiences that the majority of the kids would never experience otherwise.
Fund go towards purchasing supplies for activities, paying the teachers and local camp leaders and cooks that will help to provide food for staff and the kids for the duration of the camp. DreamRoot also covers the cost of a daily meal before since, for many of these kids, they return home to an empty house with no meal prepared.