What kind of things do you think about when you hear the words “summer camp”? Do you remember your own experiences roasting s’mores and sharing a bunk with your fellow campers? Do you remember wishing you could go, but never ended up going? Do you remember a day camp or other kind of camp?
For us and our Haitian partners, “summer camp” means a lot of things. It means long, sweaty days in the heat. It means the generator humming in the background. It means making sure clean drinking water is available for all the campers, all the time. It means not really being “through” with summer camp when the day ends, chatting with campers throughout the day and into the night. It means providing a safe space for kids in the middle of adversity and hardship and difficulty.
This is our third year partnering with an ongoing camp that started a year before we were there to help. We love what it stands for and we appreciate the people coming with fresh energy, with open eyes to learn from our Haitian partners and staff, and those who want to learn more about the mission as a whole. July and part of August will be PACKED- full of making trips to Port-Au-Prince to collect teams and drop them off; full of days that are long and hot; full of times that are trying. Haiti is a challenging place, full of beauty but also full of people who have challenging circumstances. It is emotionally, mentally, and physically taxing on all of us who stay throughout the summer and into the fall. Whew!
We do this because we know it is a life-changing event for these children. Years ago, kids were going to the witch doctor next door for food, medical needs, and more. These same children were the 5, 6, and 7 year olds who were outside of the gate drinking alcohol and smoking. Years later, these children are helpful and contribute to their community. They are in school. They are eating and being taken care of. This is due, in large part, to this summer camp.
As we enter into this intense and fun season, we ask for your prayers, thoughts, and more. Please visit konbithaiti.org for more info!