How To Tame Your Dragons; Annual Camp For Children With Incarcerated Parents

The Annual Camp is one of the weeks the children always look forward to in the year! This time around, 100 children and 27 staff participated participated. The camp commenced on 19th September to 24th September 2021; and the sessions conducted were centered on the theme How To Tame Your Dragons, which was about how to tame thoughts.

The children were engaged in 7 rotations: What About It class; Creation class; Health class; Dance class; Team building; Slingshots; and Crafts class. Below is are highlights of the sessions that were conducted or rotations:

In the Creation class, children shared testimonies and life experiences; how life was hard (before they joined wells of Hope) when their parents were taken to prison. Some were found home when they had dropped out of school at early age; some were hopeless because their parents were the bread winners at home; and besides that, the  people in their communities could discriminate and talk negatively towards them. They were encouraged that God knew them before because they were chosen from many children in their communities for  a purpose.

The jades being encouraged to always have hope in God for a better future

They were urged to purpose to do everything they do in the image of God for them to be ambassadors of God.

During the camp, they learnt about the ten DRAGONS which included; Deadness, isolation, self-harm, powerlessness, drama queen, bully, sadness, anxiety, rage and worthless. The children learnt ways to overcome the dragons or how to tame their thoughts which included: being positive in every situation, reading the bible, praying, fasting holding each others burdens and being patient.

When I got my results for senior six examinations, I did not have hope of joining University because my father told me that he doesn’t have money to take me to the next level at University but later after some time; through prayers and trusting God, I was told that there is someone who is willing to pay my school fees and accommodation. I am now at Kyambogo University doing a Bachelor’s degree in Oil and Gas,” Vivian one of the children testified. Through her testimony children learnt that it is good to wait upon God; not lose hope in life; to be strong even in hard times; to pray; and trust God.

In the health class, the children were engaged in sessions about HIV and AIDS; and purity. They learnt that the power to stop and prevent HIV is in their hands because as children they the power and authority to say No to SEX because no one understands their lives better than them. The facilitators emphasized that no one should take advantage of their lives because once they get infected with HIV&AIDs, they will have to take ARVs till they die because HIV has no cure. They were encouraged to do self-evaluation; stay true to their personal decisions; test to know the HIV status; abstain from sex; avoid sharing sharp objects; and avoid substance abuse. The children learnt to remain pure till marriage. They learnt Purity keeps their minds pure. 

During theamp, the children were engaged in HIV Counseling and Testing.

In the Crafts class, the children made sail boats, shields, crowns, necklaces and race cars using steel binding wire. The sessions were aimed at helping the children explore their skills in art and crafts.

The Panthers, the older boys making race cars using steel binding wire

The What About It class was aimed at helping the children to cope with having a parent (s) in prison. They expressed confidence as they shared their testimonies; they shared how life before joining Wells of Hope was and how the organisation has helped them to get a good life. They were encouraged to always forgive one another because no one is perfect.

The crystals being encouraged to embrace forgiveness in their daily lives

From the sessions, one could tell that the children were struggling with unforgiveness and bitterness; “can I love and forgive the person who wanted to kill my mother after committing a crime?” one of the children asked. They learnt that forgiveness brings healing and frees one from bondage. They were urged to forgive their parents and the people in the community who do not treat them well. The children were encouraged that is not their fault their parents are in prison.

Another child asked, “ If make a mistake or do wrong to someone then I ask forgiveness and the person I have hurt doesn’t reply, does this mean I am forgiven or not? They were encouraged to always pray for the people they have wronged for God to soften their heart such that they are forgiven. Also, the children were encouraged to pray for each other; be patient; be kind; and gentle when talking to others; to be good citizen; have good characters; and to focus on what they want to be in future.

Through games, the children learnt the importance of teamwork. They learnt to always focus on their dreams and goals. They also learnt that it is good to be patient.

The rubies playing the stack cup game

Some of the major highlights included: 9 children were baptised; the children’s birthday party; talent show; and the shaving cream battle, among other highlights.

We thank Camp David International, everyone they worked with, all our sponsors, the team at Wells of Hope and all our friends for their continued support for the children with incarcerated parents.

Video; Children’s highlights

Blogs:

An Adventure Of Taming Dragons by Elizabeth Butuyuyu, the Finance/M & E Officer’s blog;

Being A Counselor Has Taught Me How To Be A Mother by Gloria Nakangu, the Assistant Program Coordinator’s blog; 

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