“Let’s stay together!” Summertime in Bethlehem, an occasion to play and grow together
Saturday, July 23 the project “Therapeutic Summer Camp for children with special needs” ended. The project consisted in a summer camp held at the Child Development Center, organized by St. Mary Coptic Orthodox Monastery Center with the support of the Association pro Terra Sancta and is part of a greater initiative in support of the most vulnerable people in Bethlehem, women, youth and children.
About 30 children between 4 and 13 years old, participated to the activities. They were followed by a passionate team of local educators and Sister Esther, The tireless activity coordinator. A group of enthusiastic volunteers were also present to help out. It was a very important moment for the kids of Bethlehem.
Their daily life is strongly influenced by the socio – political context and they don’t have many opportunities to play and have fun. Furthermore, there aren’t many initiatives which give hope to those who are the first affected by the difficulties in the Country, primarily the children themselves.
Game, in fact, is one of the most important and more natural activities within which children can grow in harmony. Playing allows acting and interacting with each other in a protected space, without any tension or fear, learning to manage relationships and to confront their skills or their difficulties. It is a concrete possibility of joyful interaction and growth.
The intent was to give children a space to enhance their free time favoring socialization, communication and solidarity, a context that would guarantee them the right to have fun and play in a pleasant and peaceful environment in which they felt welcomed.