My heart is still so full!!! 😍 Open Your Heart Camp (OYHC) 2018 is really one of the highlights of my 2018 🤗 Glad to have been part of it 😊
Every year, Wahamba runs a charity empowerment camp for under-served teenagers in Nigeria called “Open Your Heart Camp”. The camp employs creative learning tools and workshop in nature to teach self-determination, art skills and other important lessons to teenagers who are the least opportune in our society.
This year’s Open Your Heart Camp (OYHC) – Explorers with a Difference was AH-mazing! It focused on creating an inclusive learning community for neurotypical teens and teens living with autism. The organizing team, resource partners and volunteers led about 26 teens on a day of exploration in nature at LUFASI Nature Park. The camp was filled with activities such as puzzle contest, farm harvesting, tree planting, painting session and more.
TEAM PUZZLE CONTEST
The teenagers and some volunteers were divided into 6 groups, that is one puzzles per group. The first group to finish was declared the winner. The puzzles were gotten from Ethan and Harriet. Their floor puzzles are awesome for family and team bonding. We had loads of fun constructing the Nigerian map.
PAINTING IN THE FOREST 🎨
This was my favorite session. My girl, Valerie Fab-Uche, was the Art Coordinator. The easels and canvas were set outside the park for the teenagers, who were paired in twos, to showcase their artistic side. As they were about to paint, it started to drizzle. So we had to go into the canopy to continue painting. Painting is therapeutic. Now painting in a place like LUFASI Park is tranquilizing….It was beautiful watching the teenagers and some volunteers expressing themselves through arts.
The highlight of the camp was harvest time which was themed ‘Where Does Food Come From?’. Over the last few months, the LUFASI Nature Park staff partnered with Wahamba to cultivate the camp farm in preparation for this session. During the camp, all the participants (teens and volunteers) learned how some vegetables are grow. Everyone was given a basket to harvest their own fresh vegetables such as okro, cucumbers, ugu, efo, cabbage and several others. It was beautiful seeing everyone take home a basket full of of fresh vegetables.
TREE PLANTING 🌴 AND LUFASI PLAY GROUND
After lunch, Funmi Oyatogun and LUFASI staff, taught the teenagers how to plant trees. Funmi even taught them the “Tree Planting Song”. It was so much fun. From there, it was playground time! The most beautiful part about the camp was watching each teenager relax and have so much fun. One teenager who was timid at the beginning of the camp had gradually opened up. It was heartwarming watching him play and enjoy himself. That’s one of the goals of OYHC, to help teenagers break through personal boundaries. I saw that happen with each teenagers at the camp.
OPEN YOUR HEART CAMP 2018 VOLUNTEERS
OYHC 2018 was a blast and success because of this awesome, energetic and happy OYHC crew!!! These guys brought their ‘A’ game to the camp. Honestly they were ah-mazing! From the first training, where we all met for the first time, to our whatsapp group, to camp day, the team of volunteers were on point! They all deserve a lot of accolades!
SPECIAL SHOUT OUT 💚
A special shout out goes to Mr. Desmond Majekodunmi, the owner of LUFASI Nature Park for graciously allowing us to use the park for OYHC 2018. God bless you, sir.
And another special shout out goes to the LUFASI staff who helped us cultivate, tender and harvest our OYHC farm. You guys are the real MVPs of OYHC 2018!
Meet Mr. Francis, our OYHC Farmer He and his team took care of our OYHC Farm. Thank you, sir!
OPEN YOUR HEART CAMP 2019
I am already looking forward to OYHC 2019!!! Can’t wait to touch the lives of some under-served teenagers in Nigeria through Wahamba. God bless you, Funmi Oyatogun for this vision. And a big shout out to her dad, Mr, Oyatogun, for supporting this initiative and joining us to have fun!
The video below sums up how beautiful OYHC 2018 was. I always shed a happy tear anytime I watch it. Shout out to the awesome OYHC Media team for documenting beautiful pictures and videos of OYHC 2018!