“What I love most about summer camp is the atmosphere, and the chance to spend all my time learning new things and being creative. Every day is so exciting! I never imagined I would have the chance to play the keyboard and create my own music with others. I feel blessed to be part of something so special. Most children in Haiti do not have the chance.” – Carlette, age 13
- 650 participants, ages 5 – 18
- 6-weeks of fun and inspirational classes
- daily lunch from the food program
- teenagers are enrolled in one class for the entire 6-week session, which gives them a chance to develop specific income-producing skills
Since 2003, the What If? Foundation has funded a 6-week community day camp for children ages 5-18 in the Ti Plas Kazo neighborhood of Port-au-Prince. This camp, run by our Haitian partners, Na Rive, offers a unique opportunity for its participants to create, to explore, and to celebrate being children, while learning income-producing skills.
Na Rive‘s Director of Programs, Lavarice Gaudin, describes the camp as a much-needed respite from the children’s difficult lives; a safe place where they can grow in confidence and learn valuable skills that will help them contribute to their families and their community.
Classes offered for teenagers include music, cooking, calligraphy, sewing, English, computers, macrame, and videography. Younger campers (ages 5-12) take classes in drawing, watercolor, embroidery, crochet, and other arts and crafts. All campers also get healthy lunches from the food program each day, and plenty of time to exercise and play games.
Given there are very few opportunities for children to participate in organized sports or enrichment activities in the Ti Plas Kazo neighborhood during the summer, this camp is well-loved by the children who attend, and much appreciated by their parents.
The camp is free, although families are invited to make a small donation of $1 or $2 if they are able, which many families do as an expression of their gratitude.
“I would like to thank everyone who donates. It is the highlight of the year for so many children. Without your support they would not have the opportunity to have this much fun, to learn skills that might one day help them earn a living, and to eat nutritious food each weekday of the summer. This camp makes such a difference in the lives of the children.”
– Jean Marie Noel, Summer Camp Coordinator
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