The Afterschool project closest to our hearts as we get to see the kids being transformed, educated, challenged to desire a brighter future for themselves and the generations to come.
Life through the eyes of the average gypsy child looked bleak and hopeless. This average child represents a number of children living in this very poor Roma Gypsy community in Lazareni where the poverty is so extreme that even the basic human right of access to running water is not a reality. These children were stigmatised, they were marginalised from society they couldn’t look to a future, or even contemplate having aspirations and dreams.
However, this is slowly changing, as hope is now starting to become deeply rooted in their hearts and they are realising that they can be and do so much more than they could ever imagine. This has been activated through the Afterschool project, giving each child the opportunity to access education – to understand their potential. There are over 60 children that come to Caleb Foundation 3 times a week, where they’re given a meal, nurtured, loved and given help with their education.
There is an old saying ‘give a man a fish and it will feed him for a day, but teach a man to fish and it will feed him for a lifetime’. This same principle of giving a child an education is giving them a passport for the future, a chance to live.
To further influence and invest in these children’s lives we made sure they have a chance to go to our summer camp. This is the second year we have our Afterschool camp and apparently the last year’s camp had such a major impact that they all fought for best results in order to qualify for this year’s camp.
It is hard to accurately describe what a culture of love, acceptance and grace present at camp can do to a child lacking most of these values in their own homes. The leader’s transparent and vulnerable hearts made it possible for the children to open up and share burdens, wounds as well as desires and aspirations. In a godly atmosphere healing took place as kids were prayed for, talked to and encouraged to continue to dream big.
And did we have fun or what? There were countless opportunities to have fun, rejoice, play, laugh in ways some of them never knew it was possible. There were able to forget about the hardships of life and just be children doing what they do best, play endlessly!
Of course, there were the traditional competitions, both for learning and acting out the Bible verses they had learned as well sports. They were all very pleased to receive prizes and be rewarded for their hard work during the school year.
A huge thank you to all that have made this camp possible!
In the video bellow you get a glimpse of the incredible time we all had!