Introduction.

The Chairman Amatola Foundation

Dear Ib,

Re: Feedback on the December U.P.C. 2011

The December 2011 camp was a great success with the weather playing along, a great number of enthusiastic youthful volunteers, no vehicle breakdown nor injuries to the children. We were able to make contact with a new children’s home (from Komga) as well as providing some activities we have not been able to offer previously.

This success was despite the fact that in November we had been informed that funding would not be able to be the R67 000 for which we had hoped but instead only R30 000 was available. As a result of having less than half of the desired funding we had to reduce costs and so consequently we took the very difficult decision to exclude all of the Grahamstown children and only took 54 children from East London and Hogsback.  We had to further reduce costs by offering a less expensive catering option and under these circumstances we were not sure if the camp could be as successful as our others have been but it is my considered opinion that this was as good if not better than our larger camps for 150 have been. While it is unfortunate not to be able to allow as many children onto the camp, it was never-the-less a very meaningful encounter with those 54 children that we were able to attend.

Because we had already secured enough Instructors (20 Volunteers) for 130 children, we had the very high Instructor / child ratio of  less than 3:1 and so what we did is double up on several of the Instructors so that the newer Instructors had experienced Instructors assisting them. This bodes very well for our next camp as we have now got 20 Instructors who have been trained and have had a great encounter with a UPC experience! As for the children, I wish that I could capture the sound of their laughter and their shrieks of pleasure, but instead the photographs will show the smiles, beaming from ear to ear!

I would therefore sincerely like to thank you again, as well as on behalf of the children, for all the Christmas happiness and joy that your donation has bought!

Very best regards,

Josh 

 

Josh’s Report / December Camp 2011:

Children:

Numbers invited: 70

Numbers attending: 54

 

Camp Duration: 7 days

 

Backgrounds:

East London: 40

Komga: 4

Hogsback: 10

 

Health: Reasonable to quite poor.

The East London children were from E.L. Child Welfare, Sunshine Place Children’s Home and various other children identified by ministers working in the poorer communities.  We were also able to have 4 children from Komga Children’s home join us as there was an opening, due to the fact that for the first time in 23 years all of the E.L. Children’s Home children were hosted by families!

The Children were selected by their caregivers and various ministers.

Activities offered – Self Development, Understanding Democracy, Creative Arts, Abseiling, Group Dynamics, High, Middle and Low Ropes Courses, Hiking, Camp Cleaning, Kitchen Work, Early morning jogs / swims / aerobics, Activities in the Hall, Night Hiking and Camping and the eradication of Alien Plant species, understanding the need for a clean environment, Environmental Education,  AIDS lectures, Water slides, Parachute runs  and Soccer, Volleyball and Cricket matches, pick up litter on the main street and watching videos. We also used a German Instructor who is a professional handball coach to teach this new skill.

Instructors:

Numbers: 20

Backgrounds

South African: 8 (3 Xhosa and 5 English speaking)

German: 10

American:1

New Zealand: 1

 

 

The Camp:

This camp was held for seven days for 54 children. It was made up of compulsory and voluntary activities, as well as a lot of free time. The children learnt about democracy and time-management when choosing for themselves which activities they wanted to do. As usual, points were awarded for each completed voluntary task and again extra duties that improved the community (like sweeping, book stacking or dish washing) were assigned to the few individuals who misbehaved. We again used the programme whereby we develop Life Skills that are not given at school and we educated the children on Alien Invasive plant species and we eradicated some in and around Hogsback.

Although we continued with the basic model of the camp that has been so successfully and added some new elements and activities, such as rainbow painting art skills, environmental education at 39 Steps and a walk back along the main road picking up litter from the road verges, water slides and parachute runs.