A special day camp for children with disabilities from the Kav LaChaim organization concluded this week. What made this camp unique is that it was organized and run in its entirety by youngsters from Kiryat Arba, a Jewish community adjacent to the city of Hevron.
Prior to the start of the camp, the youth spent three months preparing and fundraising for the occasion. The camp was made up of dozens of management, production and content teams which presented the children with unique attractions throughout the week. Of course, the youth did not forget the personal care and lots of love, which are important to convey to campers, and especially to campers of this kind.
About 150 teens from Kiryat Arba took part in the planning and running of the camp, and 19 disabled children from Kav LaChaim attended. In general, the teens of Judea and Samaria, maligned in the media as "settler youth", run project after project showing a real sense of social consciousness and love of their people.
“Although we could have organized the camp in a shorter period of time, it was important to us that the youth of the community feel that they are an essential part of running the program,” said Kiryat Arba’s youth coordinator Assaf Asher. “After lots of hard work and a great personal investment on their part, they managed to astonish us all and put together a unique program for Kav LaChaim’s children.”
As part of the preparations for the camp the youth raised thousands of shekels, and set up teams to take care of funding, content, and morale. The youth also took part in seminars that prepared them and taught them how to work with children with disabilities.
The camp was dedicated to the memory of Adiel ben Yosef and Nachshon Porat, two boys with disabilities from Kiryat Arba who had died in recent years.
The camp program included a huge event with inflatables, a Laughter Yoga workshop with a medical clown, a magic show, a juggler show, and many other fun activities. The highlight of camp was a special Shabbat the campers spent in Kiryat Arba. The special Shabbat included a prayer service at the Cave of the Patriarchs in Hevron and a Seudah Shlishit with residents of Kiryat Arba.
In order to thank and honor the young councilors, Kiryat Arba Mayor Malachi Levinger, son of the famed Moshe Levinger, idealogue and leader of the renewed Jewish presence in Hevron after the 1967 war, surprised them and took them on a jeep trip after the camp ended.
“It was exciting to see how the youth can have big dreams and fulfill them,” Levinger said. “The entire community felt how mighty our youth is. They undertook this important project and ran a tight ship. We congratulate them on doing so and hope that they continue this way for years to come.”