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Our Camp is Back: Empowering Dreams in the Heart of Karamoja

Updated: Feb 5

It's been two years since we started Camp of Hope, a transformative holiday camp, a sanctuary we created to provide a safe and loving environment for vulnerable children who have no place to go during the holiday break. The journey has been nothing short of extraordinary.

How it Started: From Lockdown to Hope

After two prolonged years of lockdowns and curfews, the gates of schools in Uganda have finally swung open. For us at Shanita, this marked the beginning of a long-awaited journey.

We initiated a transformative initiative through our sponsorship program, dedicated to escorting vulnerable children to school. Our mission extends beyond mere academic support; it encompasses a holistic nurturing framework that addresses the physical, emotional, and intellectual facets of a child's growth. We firmly believe that every child, on their journey to success, requires a robust circle of support.

Shanita before and after
Before and After

The adaptation to school life was quicker than imagined, prompting our return to the villages to share this uplifting news with parents and guardians, many of whom are orphans or raised by single parents and representing the first generation in their families to attend school.

We dedicated time to engage with family members, addressing their questions and concerns. Our local staff, hailing from the very communities we support, played a crucial role in establishing fruitful partnerships with parents.

Shanita Karamoja Uganda

Unsettling Realities: A Call to Action

During this process, a heartbreaking reality emerged – more than half of the children in our program had no place to return to during the holiday break. Reasons ranged from child labor practices and domestic violence to rise in child marriage and simple lack of resources for basic needs.

Shanita village Karamoja Uganda

The Birth of a Camp: Navigating the Unknown

In response to the urgent need, and with the incredible support of Moran and Mellisa Rosenblit, dear supporters of Shanita since its inception, we took decisive action and created the "Camp of Hope" – a three-week sanctuary designed to provide refuge for the most vulnerable children in the program. Here, they had the opportunity to stay, sleep, eat, play, learn, and simply enjoy their time off in a safe and nurturing environment.

May 2022

Yet, introducing the concept of a camp to a place and people who have never experienced one posed a set of unique challenges. In a community unfamiliar with the intricacies of camp life, we found ourselves starting from scratch.

While crafting schedules, rules, and menus are vital components of organizing the Camp, our focus extends far beyond the logistical intricacies.

It's about an environment where every child can thrive. It's about instilling resilience, kindling aspirations, and providing tools that will guide them on a path of self-discovery and growth.

We envisioned a camp that transcends its physical existence, leaving an indelible mark on the hearts and minds of the children we serve.

Shanita organisation Karamoja Moroto Uganda

Starting a fresh

Last week marked the beginning of a new chapter for Shanita as we launched our camp once again. We stand here proud of the journey we've undertaken, the challenges we've overcome, and the impact we've made.

Camp of Hope has evolved into the most anticipated event of the year for the children of Karamoja, a beacon of joy for which they eagerly await many months in advance.

Shanita Children Karamoja Uganda

During that time, laughter resounded through the air, friendships flourished, and memories were intricately woven into the fabric of their childhood, replacing any traces of pain and suffering.

For us at Shanita, this camp is a precious opportunity to deepen our connection with the children we serve. It goes beyond providing shelter and activities; it's about instilling values and imparting tools that go beyond the confines of a classroom.

Shanita Children Karamoja Moroto Uganda

In this immersive experience, we aim to nurture not only their academic growth but also the development of character and resilience. It's a chance to wrap them in love, creating a supportive environment where they can explore, learn, and flourish.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to Moran and Mellisa Rosenblit, who have consistently believed in our vision and supported us in implementing Camp of Hope time and time again, up to this very day. Without your unwavering support, we wouldn't be where we are today. Thank you for your enduring commitment and belief in our cause.

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