The Wema Na Fadhili Camps Rebooted: December 2015 edition

Introduction

For a long time we have observed that some of our older children, even those who seemed most stable when they were younger,  have poor judgment and they often make shockingly bad decisions after leaving Wema. There are also some concerns on the impact of family reunification on the children. Some children withdraw to themselves and seldom communicate with the Wema family. This situation calls for better communication and clear feedback on the past/existing family reunification process in order to determine the success or otherwise of the process and how it can be improved. Clearly, the impact of long term institutionalization may be having a toll on some of the children and we need to address those special needs as a matter of urgency.

Solution

In August 2014, we commenced a more intense remedial/rehabilitation program through more intense psychosocial support and guidance at a personal level, for all residential children. We revived (re-booted) the Wema Na Fadhili counseling/ healing camps of the 90s, through which many street children and wounded orphans found healing and purpose. However, newer approaches and methods were introduced. The camps are usually held during April and December School Holidays.

Objective

To give every Wema child the opportunity to reflect on his/her life, deal with past experiences, recover from trauma, mend broken relationships, connect with The Lord Jesus, get sober, commit to working hard and enjoying life, develop positive values, virtues and good character.

Goals

Make Wema a true place of healing and rehabilitation for street children.

December 2015 Edition

This Holiday’s Wema na Fadhili Camp was held at Word of Life- Diani, between 30th November and 5th December. The theme of the 6- day camp was aligned. Positioning yourself for impact borrowed from 1st Timothy 4:10. A team of Wema Alumni took the lead role in planning and executing the camp, with back up support from Wema’s management and staff. The camp featured 67 Wema resident girls and 13 volunteers, some of who had traveled from as far as Western Kenya to be part of the life-changing camp.  The facilitators of the camp comprised a blend of youth Evangelists from Mombasa, and trainers from Word of Life-Diani.

Campers were taken through exciting and educating activities daily, which mostly included..

Morning workouts

These workouts comprised of jogging around the field, stretching and very child friendly exercises that helped kick off the day on a high note. All campers were expected to turn up on time and participate fully.

Morning Devotions

All campers converged in a large hall for praise and worship. Then they submitted prayer needs which were supplicated over by appointed individuals before breaking for breakfast.

Sermonette

Each day had a sub- theme to build on. Pastor Robert, a Youth Evangelist from Crossroads Fellowship Church- Nyali, took campers through different morning devotion Sermonettes, all which built up on the main theme of the camp.

Indoor Games

Very exciting and competitive game sessions were conducted in the main hall daily. The fun games were conducted between two teams randomly selected (Team Wazito and Team Sinai). Some of the competitions included dancing, brainstorming, riddles, singing, Cheering squad competitions, potatoes races, broken telephone, blind folds, plank board sliding and many more. The main objective of the games was to enhance team work, effective communication skills, boost self esteem, and promote positive competitive spirit among teams and individual member s.

Quiet Time

A few minutes were set every day to help each camper have a personal quiet time with herself. During this time, the campers meditated on the day’s sermonette, and how to apply the teachings in everyday life.

Group Discussions

The facilitator took the group through what had been shared in the Sermonette and helped members internalize the day’s sub- theme. These sessions were also used to address individual questions and/or needs that arose.

Outdoor Games

These were mostly ball games, water slide or balloon games conducted between the 2 teams (team Wazito and Team Sinai), or between the campers and the facilitators.

Sing & Fun

Just as the name implies, it was a moment to sing and have fun as groups or individuals. Children demonstrated a great deal of talent when it came to presentations, own compositions, sing along, dance competition and Emceeing. It was awesome.

General Devotions

These were conducted in the main hall every day after supper before the campers retreated for their cabin devotions with their individual facilitators.

Cabin Devotions

Done in every house (dorm) these devotions gave a chance for the facilitators and house members to bond, pray together as a family and address individual or house issues.

Question and Answer sessions.

This was an open forum for all campers to ask questions anonymously (by writing on a piece of paper, with no name). The facilitators provided sound and professional counsel on the questions, which were mostly based on relationships, self-esteem, sexuality and faith.

Prize Giving

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Pauline Muthoni, Miss Wema 2015

During the last day of the camp, a prize giving ceremony was held, featuring several catogories including Miss Wema 2015, best performing girl in school, best role model, among others. Prizes included gift vouchers to visit Lunar Park, Wild Waters, and the Bahari Beach Hotel.

Campfire

Around the Campfire, which was lit at the last night of the camp, an all-inclusive dedication service was conducted. The service, which was honored by the presence of the field Director of Word of Life (Bro. Peter Odanga) and the Program Coordinator of Wema Centre (Henry Bineah), saw many children rededicate their lives to Christ, and many more make decisions to have a personal relationship with Christ.

It was a well thought through camp, which presented a great learning experience for both the children and staff. It ended at a high note, which left everyone looking forward to the next Wema na Fadhili Camp, to be held in April 2016.

Stay TUNED…