July 2014

The smile of the children of Bethlehem in a summer camp

“It’s a joy seeing the children smile – states Sister Anna, coordinator of the summer camp in Bethlehem – as these activities allow them to have fun and at the same time to grow their faith.” This is the summer camp experience at the Franciscan parish of Bethlehem, organised at the premises of Catholic Action, the place of Catechism.

Six activities, 220 children and young people between 6 and 16, two different itineraries of catechesis, 62 volunteer instructors… these are the numbers of the summertime catechism organised with the contribution of the Association pro Terra Sancta. The activities start in the morning with catechesis. Later on there is art, folk dancing, modern dancing, theatre, swimming-pool and chants. The catechesis are differentiated, with very specific approaches: For the youngest ones, there will be a focus on miracles; on the other hand, for the older children there will be a focus on the “heroes in the Bible”, a series of characters that are considered heroes in our faith, like Abraham, Joshua or David. “We use innovative methodologies – explains Sister Anna – as the catechesis is not based on boring lessons. We use a lot of videos and we ask the children and young people to enact the episodes of the Bible that are discussed.”

The camp will finish with a big party where the children will perform in front of their parents the work that they will have done during the activities: crafts, theatre plays and dances. The instructors are all very young and they are all passionate about this experience: “I have so much fun playing with them – says one of them – and the chants are not only a fun activity, as they involve dancing, but also an original way of studying the Catechism.” Fra Lwai, Franciscan from the Custody of the Holy Land who always follows the activities of the summer camp said: “The parents are very happy with the activities that we offer to the children. This camp is having an amazing success and we hope to host even more children next year.”

The daily life in the city of Bethlehem is strongly influenced by the difficulties in the socio-political context, and children are more likely to feel the effects of this situation. For them there aren’t many chances of enjoying balanced experiences while growing up; that’s why promoting and offering initiatives like this camp are especially important.

If you would like more information about what the Association pro Terra Sancta does for the children of Bethlehem and to find out how you can help to support the activities click here. 

share facebook twitter google pinterest print send
related stories

A lesson with the Arab Institute of Bethlehem: “It’s not enough to know each other and respect each other, but it’s necessary to valorize the other too” (February 2017)

Summer camp in Bethlehem, the enthusiasm of the youngest (July 2015)

Classrooms renovated and now safe: surprise for the young pupils at the St. Catherine of Bethlehem preschool. (April 2015)

Bethlehem: Christmas arrives for the children of the Caritas Baby Hospital and the Aida Refugee Camp (December 2014)

Sponsor a child in Bethlehem (December 2014)

“Here you can still breathe the scent of hope”: a month in Bethlehem bringing smiles to young children (November 2014)

Bethlehem and the children of the Holy Land (August 2014)

Advent time: Hope for children born in Bethlehem today (December 2013)

The support of the schools in Savona for the children of Bethlehem is continuing: the coming initiatives and an invitation for all friends of the Holy Land (June 2013)

Bethlehem: a course to help mothers with relationship and communications problems with their children (January 2013)

Children’s pilgrimage to Bethlehem (December 2012)

Bethlehem and the children from the Holy Land (November 2012)

A bridge to the future for Bethlehem’s children in difficulty (October 2012)

A month in Bethlehem living with the children of the Holy Land (September 2012)

A summer camp for the children of Bethlehem (July 2012)

Bethlehem: two volunteers’ experience at the Antonian Society crèche (June 2012)

Educational issues in Bethlehem: school bags for the children of Christ’s birthplace (December 2011)

Bethlehem: Courses to support education of children and families (November 2011)

At Christmas time a return to the beginning: the start of the 2011 Christmas campaign to aid Bethlehem (October 2011)

Emergency education in the Palestinian Territories: the involvement of ATS and AVSI continues with new meetings (July 2011)