A little over two months ago emails started circulating about an upcoming event in collaboration with Beena Initiative, under the supervision of the Ministry of Social Solidarity. A model and manual of a One Day Camp for six orphanages (90 children) developed by CISV Egypt that can be replicated by Beena throughout the year. And so, for the past two months, in true CISV spirit, we have formed five different committees:- food, venue, program, logistics, and risk management. Each committee started planning, meeting, and calling up all their contacts for ideas and helping hands, coming up with 60 volunteers.
A week before the event, all volunteers attended a training by our partner Wataneya Society for the Development of Orphanages about the etiquette of visiting orphanages and dealing with children without parental care. The ‘Do’s and Don’ts for volunteers’ training gave us a glimpse of what it’s like to be living in an orphanage and what to expect during the event.
On Saturday the 27th of February, the 60 volunteers gathered at ElGezira Youth Center, bright and early at 8am to prepare for the day and get ready for the children to arrive. With some ups and downs, and little shuffling around we were ready as the children started to arrive, eager to see what the day holds for them. Starting the day with some typical CISV icebreakers and name games, the children were shy but slowly began to open up and enjoy themselves.
For breakfast, our volunteers had sandwiches prepared. Each bag had the name of one of the participants, giving us all a fun chance to better learn everyone’s names by looking for the owner of the breakfast bag and getting our own.
When everybody was full and happy, we were off to the activities and the participants were divided into teams. First stop was the science station, where our partner the AUC Department of Physics, had prepared a great hands-on learning experience for the children. They got to participate in the experiments and see liquid nitrogen explode. Second stop was the sports station, where the teams had fun competing against each other balancing a ball and jumping through hula hoops. Then it was on to the artistic side, the art station. Each child got to go home with a handmade harmonica and a decorated pencil that they made themselves with basic materials. To wrap up the activities, we headed to Baladna station, run by our partner Weladna. It was a fun game testing their knowledge about Egypt, and the teams got to compete against each other one last time.
The day ended with lunch and a little performance by the children about the day and what they learned from it, then we all said our goodbyes and headed home to a well-earned rest.
It was a full, long day, with little rest in the middle; some got sun burnt, some got beautiful tans in the middle of winter, but in true CISV spirit we all kept going till the end with smiles on our faces.
This project was a great way to kick off CISV Egypt’s 60th anniversary celebration by giving back to our community, aligning with our mission ‘to educate and inspire action for a more just and peaceful world.’ and our vision ‘to lead, act and inspire change in our communities to help build a more just and peaceful world.’
Thanks to the generosity of our main sponsor Mena Rail, our food sponsors Crave, Rich Bake, and Al Rashidi ElMizan and our partners Wataneya Society for the Development of orphanages, Weladna, Art Cafe and AUC Department of Physics we were able to give the children and everyone involved a unique and gratifying learning experience to remember.
Lastly, but not least- of course a huge thank you to all the volunteers, without whom this day would not have been possible.
Post by: Basma El Rashidi
Thanks to our event sponsors: