Update for Baloo’s Youth Centre

The last 10 days have flown by, we have been extremely busy with meetings, assisting with the court case, trying to continue with a routine and a bit of stability for the boys as well as welcoming our new member of staff, Karen, from Ireland. She is a fantastic addition to the team with years of youth work experience.

Last Tuesday, a judge came to camp to look around and get more of an idea of the situation. Everyone worked together as a team, with volunteers and residents of the camp ensuring that by 9 am the restaurants and shops were open, Refugee Community Kitchens were serving breakfast and music was blaring, so that the judge could see the camp for the active and inhabited place that it is. Often at this time residents would still be asleep and it was crucial that the 3455 people who live in the southern section of the camp were seen and heard.

As the future of the camp is so uncertain it causes great worry and stress for everyone in camp which has meant high tensions amongst the boys. There is a real state of panic and there is not the support or amount of translators needed for everyone to understand and then be able to deal with these feelings appropriately, especially for the younger  boys. However as usual, we try to stick to a normal routine with fun activities and education. This week we have been continuing with English lessons, the boys that attend have made amazing progress! We have been doing fun arts and crafts, making a big picture board in which the boys drew pictures to show what makes them happy. The idea of this board was to show the journalists a piece of the children’s work.

We also made kites, which was a real success, the boys were absolutely brilliant at making and flying them! This  activity bought back many lovely memories from the boys’ home countries where flying kites is a popular hobby they would do regularly.