In 2019, we organised a summer camp in Sajókaza, a village about 15 miles from Miskolc, for the second time. Just like last year, the Dr Ambedkar School provided the venue for us.
As a brand new volunteer, I was very excited and wondered what the camp would look like, especially because I had heard that the kids here are not always open to all of our activities. Of course, we made alterations in our regular schedule to accommodate their needs here: with more creative, artistic programmes, and by shortening the duration of the programmes to 30-60 minutes.
Unlike last year, we did not have another organisation to took up the 1st to 4th graders’ attention. This meant that we had to preoccupy much more children than we could prepare for. Thus, we decided to have the 10 to 15 year olds in the building partaking in our activities, while the smaller ones could run around and play sports on the yard of the school.
We started the mornings with some yoga or exercise, and between the programmes, we had little games. Not everyone participated, though: some of the kids only just sat and watch as they did not want to “fool around.” Fortunately, by the end of the week, more and more joined in.
The theme of this year was to build a new world, therefore the project this year was to create a country and its laws and customs. Or let me clarify: it should have been the project, the kids decided to have the last period for playing music or football.
We had successes with artsy activities and any programme that combined physical activity with traditional learning (e.g. mathematical steeplechase), and during our paper-based impact measurement, we realised the kids really liked filling out tests.
The most prominent event of the week was on Friday when we built a pair of football goals. We had the children in three different rooms where they could weave the net, build the structure, or paint the posts. Of course, they are free to use the built structures any time. It was great to work together with the kids on something of this volume.
On the last day, we visited the National Film Theme Park in Ózd where they could try what it is like to stand in front of a green screen.
Lasty, I would like to mention that it was also really educational to chat to the kids at the end of each day. We could just speak freely, and learnt more about their lives, hopes and dreams. We would like to thank Gábor from Ambedkar for his work during this week!