How was your May weekend? We got back from Alton Towers last night, a busy energy filled few days way at the The Enchanted Village, Cbeebies Land, The Roller Coaster Restaurant and more - all for a blog post for another time! However, This time last year we had just returned from somewhere little further afield, Kenya. We had the experience of a life time and met some amazing children!
My daughter Grace (10) and I travelled 6,764 miles from Glasgow to a rural village on the Kenya Uganda border called Busia.
We flew from Glasgow to Amsterdam, then on to Nairobi, Kenya. Then we caught another flight to Kisumu, then It was a 2 hour drive to Busia, past the equator to visit the kids at Camp Ohana.
Why? We visited the awe inspiring children of Camp Ohana to share knowledge and to the teach the children visual story telling through photography. The children were truly inspiring and so eager to learn. Grace photographed parts of her life in Glasgow and told her story to the children of the Camp Ohana in groups of around 10 each time, around 80 school aged children in total. After a short lesson on photography, we then gave the cameras to the children with instructions on how to use the. Many children had never used a camera before. The older children took their cameras home to capture life where they lived. It was such a fun and inspiring photography project. We fundraised for the cameras - thank you to everyone that donated the funds and the costs involved in shipping the cameras there ahead of time. Thank you to Barrhead Travel for their donation too, it made a big difference in making sure we had enough for the processing costs.
What is Camp Ohana?
Camp Ohana is an organisation that helps to teach children leadership skills. Helping children grow in confidence and knowledge, to help them to prepare for adult life. The children come along when not at school, enjoy a lunch and can use the small library and learn new skills. The week before we visited Camp Ohana there had been a dance school from USA sharing their skills and knowledge with the kids.
The photographs that the kids captured with our cameras are being used to secure funding for equipment to help the camp carry on the photography skills teaching and I hope to go back and visit again soon. They will also be in the Camp Ohana book which is due to be published soon celebrating 10 years of the organisation.
We also took along an instant camera which was huge hit as you can see! This is Jackson with his portrait.
Some of the images the children captured…
Always happy, smiling faces!
Some kids used theirs in local streets.
Some at home
Some at the camp
Wherever they took them, a good time was had by all!
It was an incredible experience for us but especially Grace, I am so proud of her! Then she went on to present the project to her class, as well as being able to say that she stopped at the equator…I hadn’t as much as left the country when I was 10!
If you would like to volunteer your time and skills at Camp Ohana in Kenya, to make a difference to others lives aswell as to enjoy such an incredible and enriching experience please get intouch. The organisation is always looking for volunteers AND they are starting a new Service Safari - make the trip to the camp as part of an overall trip to Kenya.
Some of the children really stood out with their outgoing personalities and with all of the questions they asked us - so much confusion and then laughter as the kids seen photographs of Sammy, our cat. If an animal doesn’t bring in an income from its produce or could be used for its meat in rural Kenya, it just becomes another mouth to feed.
Lots of conversation about Graces school and her friends - Lettie above, and Praise below, beautiful souls to have met on our visit.
Camp Ohana are teaming up with some great accommodation in beautiful locations - I can’t wait to hear more about their Service Safari! You can see a preview on this short video - Thanks for reading and I hope this ignites a little spark….