There are three programmes organized during the holidays (in April, August and December) to help the students study and make good use of their time. These are two weeks of study, talks on study and exam techniques, tutorials, educational movies and sports. These programs attract many boys who cannot come to the Centre during the school days for various reasons. The holiday programmes have seen about 80 students in attendance.
Pambazuka is Eastlands Centre's holiday initiative of keeping the youth engaged during holidays, away from school work and daily duties at home, to reflect about their lives and meet other age mates from different schools and backgrounds. The event is facilitated by tutors with expertise and enthusiasm in the field. Thanks to Austine Omeno who is the initiator and key facilitator of the entire program.
This year's Pambazuka had about thirty participants, including tutors, judges, camp chair and campanager. It took place in Gatamayu. There were four teams:
Each team had seven people, tutor inclusive. Each tutor was the team leader of six students. The students elected their own captains to keep track of team performance in various competitions. Each team also had a treasurer to oversee the finances (EC dollars) of the team.The following activities took place at the camp:
- Indoor games
- Outdoor games, which included rope climbing.
- Treasure hunt
- Football matches
- Excursion to a waterfall and to the furthest end of the forest where elephants reside.
- Road walk (jogging every morning for the entire period of camping).
- Scheduled guarding at night for everyone’s safety. The four teams chose two people to guard every two hours for the entire night for the entire camp period.
- Character enhancements talks: focus was on fortitude,sincerity and spirit of service
- Prayer times
- Catechism (1st, 4th and 6th commandments)
- Chats with tutors
- Quiz time
- Grand Auction. Business done using the earned EC dollars.
- Talent show. Focusing on creativity, punctuality, audibility and flow of story.The teams were to come up with unique items to present. Creativity was highly encouraged. Tutors were to help but not participate themselves.
All the above involved team spirit, motivation and critical thinking, proper use of time, clues and attention to details.Punctuality, spirit of service and good performance earned each team some EC dollars.
One of the craziest night games was walking down to the river at night. The way down is sloppy, muddy and slippery. Sow thistles were all over the place so one had to balance not to slide down, grasp sow thistle, hit a tree or roll down hill. The task was to walk back to the camp, about a kilometer up hill, with the pitch darkness, without a torch. This helped the participants be critical on getting the directions and being vigilant. The tutors where to be at strategic points,to prevent them from wrong routes and hitting trees.
The camp brought together the rich and the poor to a common ground where they had to depend on each other in order to win as a team. At day two, all were on the same ground as most clothes were wet and they had started appreciating team spirit and importance of everyone in the team regardless of place of residence, i.e. slum or posh estates. Meals were very good, and eating together brought the team participants to a common ground.Wild animals (monkeys, orang utang) and indigenous trees were in plenty for geography and history students to see firsthand.
The Centre puts special emphasis on the formation in character and responsibility not only of the students but also of their parents. The experience here is good. The parents quickly come to realize that if they want their children to succeed, they too must become more responsible persons.
Given the vital role the families play in the education of their children, a programme for Parents has been established in the Centre. Some of the activities of this programme include:
- Courses on parenting
- Educational get-togethers
- Group discussions