Children’s basic needs – the second taste of our summer camps
What are basic human needs? What we cannot live without. The balance between sleeping and wakefulness, healthy, nutritious meals, at least 3 times a day and the feeling of internal safety. These are the three pillars of the healthy physical functioning of our body. The 2nd session of the summer camp held by Zaschita/Love’s Bridge helped the children to effectively recover from the hard academic year. It was not only thanks to the tasty and healthy meals, but also due to an atmosphere of total acceptance beyond gender, age, skin color or social status.
The experience of the 1st session showed us a great cultural program, although it mainly addressed their basic physical needs. During the second session, we decided to concentrate our attention on health care and well-being – one of the basic principles of Zaschita/ Love’s Bridge. We invite you to spend a summer’s day full of interesting events to feel the rush of energy and a desire to join our team!
One of the biggest problems of today’s teenagers is the lack of movement and physical activity. That’s why, every day, we start with exercise and sportive outdoor games. This way we try to start the day with interest and efficiency and also, become healthier. After physical exercise we focus on intellectual stimulation with strategic board games and themed discussions to teach children logic while working in a team. To maintain the activity and inclusion of every participant on the team, we have a collective summary of results from the previous day and then discuss the day ahead. It is very important for teenagers. We do this to help them form their own opinions and then debate their views collectively.
We develop the ability to be responsible not only for themselves, but also take care of the others by dividing duties amongst the children. In the canteen, supervised by pedagogues, the children set the table, then after eating they clear the table and help with washing the dishes. This year, the children ate their meals with great appetite: they ate salad, soup, mashed potatoes, meat, cooked apples and pastries – and would even ask for more. It’s necessary to mention that such an appetite indicates not only a big energy consumption, but also a reason to think. What is the economic situation of the families who participate in these camps? Do they get enough food at home? Do the parents have an opportunity to provide their children with the necessary nutrition?
After lunch, we go to the city and begin the second half of the day. The fact that these children participated in a lot of sport events for the first time, underlines the lack of accessibility to sport leisure for low-income families. Team competitions in a bowling club, beach sport tournaments organized by volunteers, learning the secrets of ping-pong by the best sports trainer in the city – it’s difficult to mention everything we did!
A little break for a tasty and healthy snack – a pie with juice or yogurt helped the children to recover energy. Summarizing the results of the previous day and planning the next one helps children to stay involved and gives the opportunity to hear everyone’s opinion. Moreover, this simple task given to the children becomes a habit and they continue to plan even without our help in real life! This is the end of a typical day in our summer camp!
Above and beyond the positive emotions that the children experienced this year, we had to focus on satisfying their simple, basic needs: to feed the kids well, to organize fun activities and to fill them with positive ideas. No matter where you’re from – a school gymnasium, the immigrant school or low income families – no matter your gender or upbringing, or if you only live with your mother or with a guardian. What is childhood without bright, positive emotions and friendships in a collective framework where everyone accepts you?