KOCHI:It's summertime. Many camps have come up, in the city, with an impressive range of activities promising an all-round development and entertainment for children of various age groups. But what about the children living in the rural areas? The YMCA is conducting a three-day camp, titled 'Kinginikootam', which is part of the Rural Development Centre (RDC).
Every year, they have been conducting summer camps for children who are unable to afford the same. RDC Vettinadu in Thiruvananthapuram is a project under the Trivandrum
YMCA functioning since 1970. A lot of courses are being conducted by the centre to inculcate necessary life skills, including basic and advanced tailoring, computer and wiremen courses, among the economically backward people in the rural areas.
Besides this, the centre is also engaged in child developmental activities in which workshops and classes are conducted for children of all age groups. “Various summer camps are organised in the city but these summer camps start from Rs 2,500 onwards. These cannot be afforded by children in the rural areas so we decided to conduct a summer camp for them,” says Shijo Philip, chairman of the centre.
In this three-day camp, around 126 children are participating. The camp was inaugurated by Vembayam panchayat president Sheelaja. Babu K Mathew, president of YMCA Thiruvananthapuram, presided over the function.
The first-day class was handled by a team from Kanal, a city-based NGO. The sessions were led by Anson, Nisha, Sreechandana were focused on personality development, leadership training, legal literacy and effective communication. The second day of the camp was led by Tiju Thomas Thumpamon, director of Castalia, Indian School of Acting. The sessions were activity-oriented aiming to develop group behaviour, theatrical skills, leadership qualities. Tiju taught crafts using paper and also gave them classes in acting where they acted out scenes from movies.
The final day was handled by Manuel George, programme manager of Childline Thiruvananthapuram. He gave classes on child rights, laws related to child's safety and security. Food was also provided to the children and the parents who visited the camps along with the children. “The parents who accompanied the children were delighted to be part of the event,” says Shijo. The camp was coordinated by Shijo, who is also the Assistant Professor of University College in Thiruvananthapuram, and Shajikumar, who is the project manager of RDC, Vettinadu.