Camp of the Stars (Kan Etwal), Haiti
Orphans and children coping with chronic illness need a place where they can find acceptance, make friends, celebrate their abilities and enjoy lots and lots of play. Camp gives kids a way to experience hope, joy and connection, while building memories to last a lifetime.
WWO works in partnership with SeriousFun Children’s Network and St. Damien’s Hospital to run Camp of Stars, known by its Creole name Kan Etwal, for orphans and vulnerable children in Haiti, all of whom are HIV positive.
Kan Etwal aims to deliver a psycho-social support program tailored to meet the needs of children living with HIV who are between the ages of 10 and 17. The camp environment fosters the values of safety, love and respect, and campers participate in daily activities that include arts & crafts, nature, performing arts, life skills, education, teambuilding and free play. All activities are designed to help campers build confidence, learn to take responsibility for their health, and connect with others who share the same illness.
Through playful activities, thought-provoking discussions, evening programming designed to help children express themselves through drama, dance and music, Kan Etwal is a place for children to discover their own unique talents, dreams, and ultimately to have the confidence to shine like stars.
Whether pressing flowers, making jewelry and weavings, jumping rope, playing soccer or sharing campfire songs and stories, campers at Kan Etwal are important members of a community that embraces diversity of self and others. Through their shared experiences, campers grow in their sense of optimism and self-esteem regarding their HIV status. As a result, they cultivate meaningful relationships with peers and staff, blossom into confident leaders and contributing members of their home communities.