Some people may think that WYA’s International Summer Camp program is a standard summer camp program where kids have fun, meet new friends and enjoy nature. Well, it is definitely so much more! I don’t think I will be able to sum it all up in just a few of words, but I’d like to share some of my insights from my experience.
Peru, Lebanon, Canada, France, Thailand, Philippines, El Salvador, Israel, Brazil, Pakistan – These are just some of the countries which were represented in this year’s International Summer Camp. As you can see, some of the campers had to cross half of the globe to make it to New York City. This means a long and expensive trip.
So what are the reasons that brought together these 22 young people?
Many and good ones for sure. Meeting new friends from around the world? Travelling to one of the most popular cities in the world? Visiting the United Nations and iconic New York City structures?
I believe that each camper was particularly excited about all of these things and they had so much fun with all of these mentioned reasons. But more than all of these, the Summer Campers came for one very important purpose and that is to learn more about World Youth Alliance and its mission to promote the dignity of every human person.
Through the daily lectures and advocacy discussions, the Summer Campers learned more about human dignity and how this serves as the foundation of society and the need for person centered solutions to development challenges in the world today. Campers also had discussions on human freedom, solidarity and culture: which WYA considers as the three manifestations of human dignity in our daily lives.
To learn more about Dignity, Freedom, Solidarity, Culture and Advocacy: This was the true purpose of their trip and summer adventure with WYA. It is through these lectures that the campers learned how to defend and promote human dignity in their daily lives and in their own communities when they go back to their countries after the camp.
Finally, the 2016 International Summer Camp was an unrivalled opportunity to make friends from all over the world who also want to make a difference in their community. Despite coming from diverse backgrounds and cultures, the campers learn an important similarity – their commitment to defend and promote the dignity of the human person.
I will never forget the new friendships and learnings that I got.
The Summer Camp will forever remain in my heart.
Written by a WYA intern and Summer Camp volunteer, Almudena Aparicio Alfaro.