Kare Foundation held a one-week residential Youth Camp for its Team Members at Rockfields Senior School, Ongata Rongai, Kajiado County. This was from Sunday April 17 – Saturday April 23, 2022. 19 Team Members together with Kare Foundation’s Chief Executive Officer, 4 Intercessors, 2 members of the Pastoral Care team, 5 Internal Facilitators (a psychologist, youth counsellor, 2 group sessions moderators & an organiser), 4 members of the Communication Team and the Country Manager were full time residents. Outside expertise came from invited men and women of God and professional individuals –referred to as External Facilitators- who gave talks in their areas of specialisation.

The youngest Team Member was 15 years and the oldest 21 years. 12 were female and 7 males. Amongst the 12 female Team Members were 5 teenage mothers (teen mums) from Serene Haven Rescue Centre of Nyeri County.

It is worth noting Kare Foundation has teamed up with the (Serene Haven) Centre to undertake a project known as The Msichana Shujaa Project. Under this project, amongst other activities, teen mums are taken back to school as their welfare and their babies’ welfare is taken care of. One of the teen mums came with her three-month-old infant as it was not possible to leave the baby in Nyeri because of the breast-feeding protocol- an infant has to exclusively suckle or use breast milk until s/he is 6 months old. Special arrangements were made to ensure the baby was taken care of as the mum was engaged in camp activities. The beauty of all these arrangements was the baby accessed breast milk as normal as always.  

The main Biblical theme of the Youth Camp was derived from

2 Corinthians 9: 6-9:

Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. Each of you should give what you have decided in your heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to bless you abundantly, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. As it is written:

“They have freely scattered their gifts to the poor;
    their righteousness endures forever.”

The Youth Camp was also to focus on 3 things that Team Members could share without necessarily having finances:

  1. Giving or the act of giving
  2. Identification of talent
  3. Volunteerism

Why hold the Youth Camp?

3 reasons came to the fore:

  1. Spiritual nourishment
  2. Emotional nourishment
  3. Physical nourishment

Team Members were taken through different training sessions covering a whole range of topics and activities. All were structured to address the reasons of holding the Youth Camp.

On any given day, there was a defined programme schedule. It encompassed the time for the sessions or activities, the topics to be tackled and the name of the Lead Discussant, that is, including whether it is an Internal or External Facilitator. Break-out group sessions also were part of the trainings. Other given times were morning breakfast, a mid-morning and late afternoon tea break, lunch break, free time, dinner and supper before lights out.

  1. Spiritual Nourishment

The Pastoral Care Team under the leadership of Pastor Michael Kinyanjui Kariuki was at hand. Pastor Kinyanjui is the Teen Pastor at Christian Foundation Fellowship (CFF), Doonholm Church. Each day witnessed a morning devotion from 8.30am to 10.00am. A Pastoral/feedback session thereafter followed. All sessions also started with prayers and a Word from God. Invited men and women of God including Eddah Madonye Agunda, Founder and President of The God’s Battle Axe Ministries International, an interdenominational ministry, and Pastor Cyprien (Burundi) were allocated time to also give sermons.

There was also the Kare Foundation Intercessory Team led by Pastor Beatrice Wanjiru Gathoni and Naomi Murage, both of Shiloh Living Water Fellowship in Njiru, Nairobi.  The Intercessory Team seeks God’s guidance, through prayers, towards Kare Foundation’s activities. It was constituted before the Cam and will remain in lace even after the end of the Cam.

 2. Emotional Nourishment

A dedicated team of Psychologists and Youth Counsellors took Team Members through a number of topics and exercises. Under Psychologist Phyllis Njoki Njoroge, the team had also Psychologist Levy Juma of Amrec (K) Ltd and Youth Counsellor Jane Wanjira. External expertise came via Elder Maina and Marion both from Christ Is The Answer Ministry (CITAM).

Topics covered were Self Awareness & Self Esteem, Goal Setting, Sexuality & Peer Pressure, Drugs & Alcohol Abuse, Stress Management and Teens & Society Relationship. Team Members were asked to write down on paper different aspects depending on what the Lead Discussant wanted. To build one’s confidence, female Team Members were also taken through Make-Up/Beautification session with related practical activities. On the last full day of the Camp, gender specific debrief sessions led by the CITAM duo were held. The male Team Members were under Elder Maina with Marion taking care of the female Team Members.

The Psychologists and Youth Counsellors were also available at all times for Team Members who may have wanted a one-on-one session with them.

Every morning before Devotion, Internal Facilitator Paul Ndung’u Njoroge gave the Message of the Day. The Message of the Day was a 15 minute presentation meant to reinforce the theme so as Team Members are constantly aware of why they were in the Camp.

Other topics that were covered during the Camp were Kare Foundation: Who We Are; Training Camp Objectives & Expectations; Communication Skills, Public Speaking & Etiquette; and Career Building. An inspirational talk was also given by one undergraduate student at Kenyatta University. The student, Ms Sarah Mutia, comes from a single-parent household with all attendant challenges. She was educated on a scholarship programme similar to Kare Foundation’s as her mother was too poor to pay her fees. Despite all challenges, she managed to pass well her exams and join Kenyatta University where she is taking a STEM -Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics- degree.

   3. Physical Nourishment

Every morning from 6.00am-7.00am, all Camp participants were congregating in the playing field for their morning exercises. Many games were played. There was football, rope skipping, hullahoop, basketball and running/jogging.  The games were done collectively irrespective of gender. These activities proved highly popular despite morning drizzles that occurred throughout our days in the Camp. The activities were also highly interactive opening up all including those who may have been a bit reserved during normal class-like sessions.

It is one thing to plan a youth camp, putting in much thought and resources into it, and it is another thing to make it a roaring success with participants interested and active throughout till the end. The next activities should be anticipated with the youth looking forward to them.

Evening activities from 7.00pm-9.00pm Monday through Friday were factored in. On Monday, a movie, The War Room, was screened. On Tuesday, it was a Roundtable Meeting/Open Forum with Team Members taking charge of proceedings. They were to ask any questions, religious, social, financial &/or any one could conjure, anonymously through writing them on papers with the available resident expertise answering them. Wednesday had been reserved for Bible Study. Thursday was Talent Show evening. For Friday, it was Bonfire. A sheep was slaughtered with all enjoying roasted meat with sodas, biscuits and ugali.

Kare Foundation Kenya Country Office was also officially launched on Friday April 22, 2022 with pomp and prayers.

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