Playing in a safe space is a very significant part of childhood development stages. Children can learn, have fun and develop their characters through playing. However, due to the absence of the public space in Gaza, thousands of children cannot have the opportunity to play in a safe environment.
On the school summer holiday, Gaza Community Mental Health Pogramme arranged a summer fun weeks camp in cooperation with the GIZ where 300 children had the opportunity to participate in a wide range of enjoyable activities. The camp brought happiness and relief for both the children and their parents.
Nine-year-old Ameer, would wake up early in the morning, excited and invigorated, to ready himself for the camp.
“Before the camp Ameer would stay in bed far late in the morning, and spend the rest of the day loitering in the alleys,” Said Amal, Ameer’s mother.
However, things have completely changed after he joined the summer camp. “He would wake up excited, invigorated and enthusiastic, get dressed and run to the camp, where he released all his energy,” she added, explaining that she also noticed a positive change in her son’s behaviour. “He stopped fighting with his cousins and neighbours.”
She also recalled the day of the Shawarma activity of the summer camp and how Ameer saved half of his Shawarma meal, which he prepared himself, to share it with his sister who was always dreaming of having it.”All these days were beautiful, but they are gone,” Ameer said about the summer camp.
However, Ameer is still having a relic from the camp. He is using the camp blue T-shirt as a school uniform, and his sister wears his summer camp trainers for school. He feels that “the exciting” summer break he had will keep him rejuvenated throughout the school year.