January 28, 2019 – I am into my second week and even though I’m not sure what these days will hold I know they will be busy, because the staff is always busy at PCAU. Initially I will help unpack items used for the camp, copy letters written by the children to their sponsors so I can bring back the original letters, complete reports on the children I counseled and begin to put together ideas for an evaluation meeting.
At the end of last week I said I would return to the subject of the camp beginning with the Empowerment Retreat which was for the older children – those going into P7 (the last year of what we would consider primary school), Senior Years (high school) and Vocational Institutes. The 21 young adults – or ladies and gentlemen as they prefer to be called – were divided into two groups; those who attended last year and those who were here for the first time. The theme for the Level 2 group was I know Who I Am – I Can. The theme for the Level 1 Group was the same as last year, I Know Who I Am – I’m Special. Their scheduled sessions were similar to what was offered last year: self-awareness, self-esteem, coping with emotions, finances, making good friends peer resistance. The returning children were on a different track of learning: decision making, goal setting and achievement, self-expression and communication, positive sexuality, time keeping/management, and money matters. As you can guess the days were full and interactive activities helped to keep things lively. Late afternoons were for games; evenings for a movie, talent show and personal sharing. I was impressed with the depth of their questions/concerns, moved by their insights, inspired by their hopes for the future to make a difference in their life, family, villages and country. It is a privilege to be with them.
Let me just say that these older children know the meaning of “being sponsored,” know the names of their sponsors and struggle to find the words to express their appreciation and thanks. They had many questions of me about you, many of which I did not have answers. Even though some of you may have written letters about yourself and your family they still wanted to know what do you do, do you have children/grandchildren, are you married, do you have a house, are you happy, have I met you and talked with you, how do we get sponsors, where do we get money if no one sponsors a child, etc. Their main question is: why would someone spend money to support someone they don’t know and have never met? “Thank you” to ALL of you who in ANYWAY help this program grow through your sponsorship, your giving, your attendance at fund raising events, your interest and encouragement, and bringing awareness to others by passing along the story of the Road to Hope.
There will be more to come on the children and the larger camp gathering as the days go by!