Africa Culture Camp is aimed at promoting healthy communities using arts to promote self-esteem and an understanding of diverse cultures and identities. It is a one-week, day camp open to African children, children of African descent and children interested in African culture.
Four moms; two from South Sudan, two from Khartoum, Sudan, shared candidly their angst in watching their children grow up in a dominant white culture. Each had walked the refugee highway escaping terror and poverty, but now encountered a challenge that they could not have anticipated and are not equipped for. Conversations such as this serve as our inspiration behind our “African Cultural Camp” and the many programs and relationships that that naturally arise as a result.
Three years ago we set out to provide African kids with abundant reasons for them to be proud and confident of their heritage. Bring on the Sunshine, Life Change Adventures, the African Canadian Association of Waterloo and Region (ACAWRA) and the University of Waterloo African Students Association (UWASA) partnered to create this yearly event. Our camps are a wonderful mixture of music, creativity, dance, storytelling, mentoring, modeling, crafts and celebration. Over the years our programming and attendance has grown, while many of our kids have matured. Today, some who first joined as campers are making their way into leadership roles at the camp, with all the challenges that can bring.
Children coming to the African Cultural Safari Camp participate in learning about Africa and African Culture through a range of activities. Dance, music, stories, sports, games and crafts, all focus on the constructive use of time as children learn to use their own using creativity to entertain and communicate. Developmental assets included in the camp program are: Interpersonal and Social Competencies, Positive Values of Integrity. Equality and Social Justice are components of the camp program through the value of “Growing up Global” encouraging children and youth to become responsible global citizens.
Connect children of African descent with their heritage and pride in their heritage
Provide children with cultural knowledge they can share with and in their community.
Enhance self esteem in children of African origin and new comer youth through building Developmental Assets
Provide a bridging opportunity for children to connect with their parents’ culture in a way that will assist in bridging the gap between their immigrant parents and the youth growing up as young Canadians
Expose and sensitize the greater community to diversity rising from the African diaspora.
Create an opportunity to develop more unity and communication among African organizations and other organisations in the Waterloo Region.