2022’s Lifelong Learning Youth Camp
The World Health Organization (WHO) defines life skills as “abilities for adaptive and positive behavior that enable individuals to deal effectively with the demands and challenges of everyday life”. In practice, this means helping youth develop communication skills, manage emotions, solve problems and acquire other competencies. When well integrated with other employability training components, life skills programming can increase the likelihood that young people will find or create work opportunities.
We have developed The Lifelong Learning Youth Camp to address life skills training among the TFFT scholars and alumni. The curriculum offers youth the emotional, social and intellectual tools needed to achieve success in life – on a personal level, an interpersonal level, and within their community and the world of work. The life skills package for TFFT camp offers direct instruction in 3 main areas:
- The skills of knowing and living with oneself (self awareness)
- The skills of knowing and living with others (interpersonal skills)
- The skills of making effective decisions (thinking skills)
Life skills empower an individual to make informed decisions, communicate efficiently, and develop coping and self-management abilities that may assist him/her to lead a happy and productive life. The Lifelong Learning Skills Youth Camp presents an immense utility for curricular and co-curricular development of learners. It will offer several benefits like opportunities to learn new creative and innovative ideas to enable learners to reach their full potential in a stress- free environment.
The Lifelong Learning Youth Camp:
- Enriches life experiences where one learns to express themselves and accept another person’s uniqueness.
- Provides exercises to resolve conflict through real life like experiences, learners get chances to assert their point of view and develop capability to resolve conflicts.
- Supports the physical, behavioral, and psychosocial developmental transitions and processes of youths, with developmentally appropriate education (sexual and reproductive health wellness to help them make well formed and informed decision about their health, lifestyles and life choices)
- Presents opportunities for students to develop skills to listen to others, learn to express ideas, be able to analyze situations and problems, and attempt to solve problems critically and rationally.
- Enables learners to develop social, personal, emotional, cognitive faculties of learners’ and enhance all round development.
This year, we had creative sessions to equip youth with 21st century skills including communication skills, creativity, collaboration, communication, social, and digital skills. The thought of attending a camp for one week can be pretty daunting. However, the experiences and challenges you will face while at camp will equip you with new skills for life. You’ll grow in ways you never knew all while making great friends for life from all over the world.
This year’s Lifelong Learning Skills Youth Camp was held August 7th-12th at Silverleaf Academy, one of our partner schools. Our day sessions included classes about financial literacy, where our facilitators from Vision for Youth, worked with the attendees money management. The scholars enjoyed the session because they developed the confidence, knowledge, and skills to make financial decisions that promote self-sufficiency, earning, spending, saving, investing, and loaning.
Entrepreneurship education was beautifully delivered by Isaack Shayo, from Westerwelle Startup Haus Arusha, a foundation with a mission to create equal opportunities for all by uplifting emerging markets through empowered entrepreneurship. The scholars had an interactive and educative session on entrepreneurship and how to incorporate it in the digital world.
We also had the Red Cross team participate in the camp. They delivered a practical learning experience for the scholars on first aid and how to use the tools on the first aid kit.
Mr. Charles Wisize from Fikra Zetu Foundation, a non-governmental organization that promotes mental health, conveyed a session on positive self-improvement and growth mindset. The scholars learnt how to find their purpose in life, how to acquire more skills for success, how to improve personal relationships and how to develop a deeper level of commitment and drive to challenge themselves.
Venkatesan Mudaliar from Brahma Kumaris, a yoga center in Arusha, brought forth a compelling and captivating session on mental positive thinking, self awareness, living values, alignment of physical and mental health, and benefits of daily meditation practice. The scholars were glorified with a live meditation experience.
Mr. John Nzira from Twende Innovation Centre, a non-governmental organization with a focus on technology for social innovation, graced the stage with a session on career exploration, goal setting, career planning, as well as sourcing opportunities in this era.
An ongoing activity throughout the camp, was revisiting a key TFFT Child Right’s initiative: Happy and Sad boxes. The main aim of the “happy and sad box” was to assess the effectiveness and generally how the lifelong learning youth camp is running. We were hoping to know what we can improve and change for next lifelong learning youth camp and the general wellbeing of our scholars on campus.
We finalized our sessions with Ms. Rephrine Kombe from Little Angel Foundation, an organization with a vision to build a world where underprivileged children are empowered through quality education and break the cycle of poverty. The Little Angel Foundation presented a session on adolescent and youth reproductive health, where the scholars learnt about adolescent sexual and reproductive health (pregnancy, unsafe abortion, early marriages, and sexually transmitted diseases). They also learned about menstrual and hygiene management and about resources to access specific health services.
In addition to our day sessions, we hosted evening sessions. For example, we held a “Debate” workshop. Participation promotes problem solving and innovative thinking and helps students to build links between words and ideas that make concepts more meaningful. The debate topic was: “Should parents control scholars’ social media”. The session was active and engaging, all the scholars participated.
As part of our career coaching element of the Youth Camp, we tested the “interview skills” of our scholars and provided them with an arena to practice. The scholars were split into two teams. The activity was to role-play an actual interview panel scenario while we assessed the following:
- Panel choice
- Body language
- Facial expression
- Question asked
- How the interviewee answers the questions
- Choice of words
Next, we had a spelling bee. The spelling bee session was fun and interactive. All the scholars were competitive and passionate about the activity.
The valuable learning outcome of spelling bee resulted in the scholars gaining competency over vocabulary and this allows them to excel at reading and writing. The ability to understand more words allows children to become literate and enjoy reading an extensive range of material.
Other evening activities included:
- Game night: Staff versus scholars football match
- Movie night: We watched a comedy series to unwind from the tedious yet fun day
August 12th was International Youth Day. The theme this year was intergenerational solidarity. We celebrated the day by hosting exhibitions from different like minded organizations: The Small Things, Silverleaf Academy, Le Solstice Foundation, and TFFT. The guest of honor was Madam Flora Peter, the district community officer. This was a wonderful way to wrap up an incredible week.