The activities of the camp lasted from mid-July until the first week of August, divided into weeks depending on the different age groups starting from a very early age to the age of young adults.
First week for the youngsters (5-8 year olds)
The first week began by welcoming children from five to eight years old, they got acquainted to each other and to the center’s staff through a chain of activities and interactive games that were used as ice breakers, followed by a variety of activities throughout the week such as storytelling by puppets, and handicrafts where each child made their own crown and made playdough by using natural products found at home, in addition to exciting motor activities such as water challenges and competitions and more.
Dancing, singing, playing musical instruments and cinema were also present during the days of the camp. The highlight of the first week of camp was the health day activity, where the staff of the camp explained to the children the importance of maintaining a healthy body.
The day was divided into several sectors including the teeth sector which explained how to take care of teeth through an interactive play. Another sector was to examine flat foot by submerging their little feet into watercolor paints and printing them on a large white paper that was turned into a mural at the end of the activity; the mural was named ‘Flat’ by the children. Ending with the healthy food sector, in which children learned about the categories of healthful foods and the importance of avoiding unhealthy foods. Children prepared their own healthy meals as well as sticks of fruit to have after their breakfast.
Camp participants also enjoyed the open day activities which were marked by the presence of the Oud player Muhannad Hamad, where the children sang songs along with him, followed by a clown show ‘Amo Zozo’, who presented interactive activities with the children such as competitions, face painting, dancing and the distribution of balloons. At the end of the day, Madaa Center presented symbolic gifts to encourage children.
The Second week for preteens (ages 9 to 11)
The activities of the second week were specified for children aged 9 to 11 years. The camp was divided into several sectors throughout the week. Including the sector of music instruments, singing and rap, in addition to the science sector where children made a telescope using simple tools found at home. There were also handicraft activities and making keychains using beads.
To deepen the love of Silwan in the hearts of children, a national education corner was organized through which children were introduced to folk stories and stories that tell the most important features of the town and its history in order to strengthen their belonging and enhance their identity and love for Silwan.
In addition to other corners such as treasure hunting, and the corner of a movie with no ending in which the children use their imagination to create an ending for the film.
In the occasion of the Palestinian folk wear day, the center organized events to celebrate the Palestinian customs and traditions under the title “Heritage Day”, where the children and staff appeared wearing the Palestinian traditional clothing such as embroidered dresses called ‘Thobe’, the Palestinian Kufia and Kambaz. The events began with a cartoon dress (Thobe) that the children decorated with wool and beads then the Palestinian wedding ceremony began, where children danced to the tunes of popular Palestinian songs.
The Center's groups participated in the Heritage Day, where Madaa Dabkeh group performed a special performance and the Madaa choir sang ‘Mawtani’ song to the Oud tunings and the audience of the event sang along. The sewing and fashion designing trainer, Ms. Widad Siyam, participated in the event and explained to the children about the old Palestinian dress, especially the women's Thobe in the area of Silwan.
At the last day of camp the children enjoyed the clown show, which included competitions, challenges and a variety of activities such as singing, dancing, the distribution of balloons and face painting. The second week of the camp ended with a trip to the city of Jericho for children to enjoy a swim in the Water Land Resort.
The third camp for adolescents (ages 12 to 14)
As for the age group from twelve to fourteen, the camp has chosen various activities that are suitable for this age group. Such as, music, rap, therapy using art, accessories and handicrafts where participants colored table salt and filled it in small glass bottles, one of the participants described this activity as a mobile work of art.
In addition to other activities were motor activities and water competitions, and the corner of national education, which specialized in talking about the history of the wall of the city of Jerusalem and the names of its gates, and the Holy Aqsa Mosque and its history and doors and the landmarks of the town of Silwan.
The camp's participants visited the most important historical and archaeological monuments in the town of Silwan, where educational tours were organized starting from Wadi Hilweh neighborhood and ending in Ein Silwan passing through the remains of Tantur Pharaoh accompanied by the tour guide Mr. Imad Al Qaraeen, who enriched the participants with valuable information about the history of the town and its ancient buildings.
This week was marked by climbing activities and Parkour sports organized for the first time in Silwan in collaboration with “Climbing Valley” from the city of Ramallah, where children were trained to climb, walk on ropes, and jump which helps children break the barriers of fear and boost their self-confidence.
Fourth Camp (The Youth Camp ages 15 to 17)
For the second consecutive year, Madaa Center allocates a camp for teenagers ages fifteen to seventeen. This camp was marked by the participation of young men and women from outside the town of Silwan significantly because of the lack of institutions interested in providing camps for this age group according to one participant from Beit Hanina and a young man who participated from Sur Baher.
The camp started with a document of honor which states the importance of commitment and acceptance of others and the importance of belonging, patriotism and cooperation for a better future. Then began the activities to help participants and staff get acquainted and break the ice and barriers between them.
The activities that have been carefully chosen to suit this sensitive age group were varied, one of which was the corner of therapy using music and drawing. The corners that took a more complex form than the previous camps, such as making keychains from beads and giving them to each other, to instill the value of giving and accepting. In addition, a large mosaic was created during the handicraft station, which aimed to encourage a spirit of cooperation and teamwork.
In addition to the stations of motor activities, challenges and competitions, and the exercise of climbing where participants of the camp visited the “Climbing Valley Club” headquarters and learned about the basics of their practice. They then moved to Ain Qinya Mountains in Ramallah to practice what they have learned. Aside from that the camp is most marked by its education station that has always aimed to create an educated and loving generation of Silwan and their homeland and also who are capable of expressing themselves and proud of what their country has provided. In this camp the activity of arranging important events, which changed the history of the Palestinian people according to their dates, created a spirit of competition and introduced students to unforgettable dates in our cause.
As for the youth camp, it was concluded with a trip to northern Palestine. The participants viewed the Lebanese border, and walked on Ein Al Tineh water path in Tiberias. The conclusion was in one of its gardens, where some of the participants helped the staff set the fire to prepare dinner while others enjoyed playing and running under the eucalyptus trees that filled the place.
This great success would not have been possible if it was not for the combined efforts of the staff with a wide range of volunteers from the youth group with whom the Center worked with within the psychological and social programs throughout the year, for they took responsibility and their intensive efforts emerged to make the camp a success.
And we will not forget the branch of Batn Al Hawa which organized a camp for a whole week for the age group five to fifteen years and filled the camp with many events that began with ice breaking activities aimed at making it easier to deal with children and their mentors and to get to know each other. Each category had an activity that was suitable for its age, in addition to the activities of the Health Day for the young group, which was characterized by watching a film that contains the most information about fruits and their health benefits. The children made shapes of their favorite fruits using felt and took it home with them at the end of the day. Health Day activities have always aimed at building a strong, educated and healthy generation. The children made geometric shapes to encourage them to love math class at school. Stories were read to them and they later acted the story out to break their fear and build high self-confidence. Fans have been made from the most basic tools for every child to ease the heat in this hot summer. In addition, entertainment was part of the camp. Children played with water-filled balloons and danced to music. Our children visited Ein Silwan and learned about its story and linked it to our cause. We will not forget the open day which included a clown, face painting, competitions, the distribution of gifts, and watercolor painting _ as long as there are colors there are rosy dreams and hope, for our children are life_.
Batn Al Hawa mentors contributed in creating innovative activities to break the barriers between participants and their guides. They have also made mosaic boards that revealed their creativity. This year, the camp was interested in making various models that contributed to increasing knowledge and bringing the picture closer to reality as reported by one of the participants. In addition to various stations such as accessories, handicrafts, Dabkeh, training scouts and a tour to Jouret el Enab to practice sports and (Tele Match) games as well as water games.
The summer of Silwan this year was remarkable where joy and fun were introduced through summer activities entitled “Enjoy the Summer, Have Fun and Learn” in addition to tours, excursions and open days which were attended by more than 3,550 beneficiaries from the town of Silwan and the neighboring towns.