Fun, Sun, and Dignity at the 2015 Africa Furaha Camp

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The World Youth Alliance Africa, hosted the 2nd Furaha Camp from 12th to 19th December 2015 at Kivukoni International School in Kilifi, Kenya www.kivukoni.co.ke for our teenage members between 14 – 8 years of age. Our theme was “Sun, Fun & Dignity”, based on this we sought to enlighten the campers on Freedom, Solidarity, Human Dignity, Human Excellence, the Meaning of Life, the Environment and Culture all in relation to WYA values. We had seven teen campers from two African countries. They were accompanied by Camp counsellors inclusive of the Camp Co-ordinator and Camp Facilitator.

We left Nairobi on 12th December 2015 for Kilifi by road, with spirits soaring high and with campers ready to enjoy the almost 10 hour road trip to the campsite as Kilifi is 490km from Nairobi. We arrived in Kilifi as night had set in and we found a warm reception, we had dinner and all campers settled in for the night after some time setting up and receiving the necessary camp briefs.

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Our learning was organised through presentations from camp counsellors and guest speakers, discussions, get together’s, questions and answer sessions, movies nights to cement the theme of the day. Each of the days was themed from the beginning of the camp to the end, allowing for topics relevant to the theme to be handled on that day.

Our educators were mainly the WYA camp counsellors; we however on one day had the director of Kivukoni International School Ms. Mwanase Ahmed speak to us. The school is run on green energy and for this reason we thought it fit for her to enlighten us further on how this is done and the case for and importance of environmental care.

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We ensured that we had an excursion day to the nearby vibrant Mombasa town, so the campers could experience the educational sites and life in another coastal town. Mombasa is more robust than Kilifi as it holds main harbours and is the heart of life in the coastal region of Kenya. We visited the historic “Fort Jesus” site constructed by the Portuguese where we gained insight on the beginning of exploration of Kenya’s coast. We also learned of the mind set at that time that has since changed, that did not fully accord human dignity to the indigenous people of the coast in how their land was inhabited, their resources exploited and for a time period traded them as bond servants or slaves.

We took the time to visit Sarafina Children’s Home in Kilifi and spent a joyous afternoon with the children aged 0 months to 16 years, it was sad to learn of some of the conditions that have placed the children in the home. We were informed of issues such as rape that leaves some of the girls expectant and unable to continue to live at home as their cases are under litigation. It pained us to see how the human person can be contravened and denied dignity from such a young age and in the same community that should protect them.

We are indebted to the parents and guardians who allowed us to have their children with us for the one week we were away at come. This act of good faith serves as a reminder that the need for parental guidance is core and remains the biggest avenue to aid in positively shaping the next generation.

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