Please Help – Youth Empowerment Camp 2016

I had hoped that I wouldn’t have to write another blog post asking for money, but here I am.  And somehow I think it bothers me more than it does you all, my lovely readers.  In fact I’ve received lots of questions from readers asking how they can directly help my work here.  Well, here’s one way.

Last year, I was the grant-writer and one of the leaders of the Velingara Youth Empowerment Camp.  It was to be one of the highlights of my service, and I hope this year proves no different.  See my blog post about the camp last year here.  World Connect, an organization that funds development work all over the world, funded the camp for its first two years (’14 and ’15) but they have (understandable) qualms about funding the camp year after year.  So, it’s up to us to fundraise this year, and every little bit counts. 

The camp will be for 30 middle school students in the Department of Velingara, Region of Kolda.  It’s a ‘sleepaway’ camp over four and a half days, with room and board included for all the kids and volunteers.  The schedule is packed full of educational sessions including first-aid, nutrition, sex-ed, financial planning games and tree planting, sports, arts and crafts, guest career panel and future planning, and the quite popular theater skits and talent show.  It’s a wonderful opportunity for these kids that they can’t get anywhere else, and they truly love it.  Several of the kids cried last year on the last day when it came time to say goodbye, which broke my heart.  Whenever I see the kids from my town that went to camp last year they say they miss all of us volunteers.  From what I can tell, camp has a profoundly positive impact on the kids that participate. 

The link to donate is here.  If you have the means, I can’t thank you enough.  Thanks to all of you for reading.


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