Students attend a 5 – 10 day day-camp (depending on location) where we spend time inspiring young people to have the courage to love God, self and others using biblical principles, artistic expression, health & wellness, social justice, and community service projects.
There is a total of 4,995 people living in Mansfield, LA (Desoto Parish). 41.3 % of population is living below the poverty line and 57 % are young people. 29.6% of young people in Mansfield do not graduate high school or receive an equivalent. Moreover, school enrollment rates dropped from 32.1 % for 1st – 4th grade to 11.1% for 5th – 8th grades. In the state of Louisiana the teen pregnancy rate is 39%, and an alarming 46.6% in Mansfield, LA). 44.5% of the population have no religious affiliation.
Considered a small city among the giants in L.A. County, Hawthorne (location where South LA camp is held) has a population of a little over 88,000 people. Of the population, 27% are young people under the age of 18. According to the LAUSD, 86% of families enrolled in the public school system qualified as economically disadvantaged and under the poverty line. 93% of the 88,000 population are black or hispanic. The teen pregnancy rate in the city of Hawthorne is 38%, 1.2% higher than the state average. Additionally Hawthorne also feeds into the largest jail in the United States according to CNN.com, the L.A. County Jail, with an inmate population of over 17,000 people.
There is a total of 2,539 people living in Coushatta, LA (Red River Parish). 31.4 % of all people in the parish are living below poverty line. Of the total number of people under the poverty line, 41% are children living under the age of 18. 37% of young people in Coushatta do not graduate high school or receive an equivalent. In the state of Louisiana the teen pregnancy rate is 39%, and an alarming 41% in Coushatta, LA.
The state of Louisiana has 122,000 people behind bars or under criminal justice supervision. Only 32% of the population of Louisiana is African American, yet 66% of the Louisiana prison population is African American. This staggering statistic highlight our nation’s pervasive Mass Incarceration problem and how young people are either being “set-up” to be shuffled through the “School to Prison Pipeline” and/or continue the cycle of poverty. 22% of the adult population in Coushatta is unemployed and 59.5 % of people have no religious affiliation at all.children face sexual exploitation, starvation, drug abuse and teen pregnancy. More than 60% of the population of Rwanda live on less than $1.25 a day in extreme poverty.
Offer young people (age 7-19) a day camp during school break, when young people tend to be most idle and prone to the negative distractions in their communities. Studies show when young people have limited participation in organized out-of-school activities it contributes to school dropout, teen pregnancy, crime, and high rates of obesity. We use the three tier component of our mission statement as the goal for our GuiDANCE Camp program.
We recognize that most young people are struggling to respect their parents, teachers, and the adults in their lives given the current culture. Our goal is to inspire them to understand the love of God so they will begin to acquire or become accustomed to living a life of love and accountability. Furthermore, we aim to inspire them to courageously choose a Godly lifestyle while living in the counterculture.
In a world where young people’s self identity is found within the parameters of “followers” and “likes” on social media, objectified, and on display; we hope to inspire them to see themselves as God sees them, beautifully and wonderfully made in His image.
Once the young people have established a love of God, a positive sense of self, our goal is that they can continue to spread what they have received throughout their community and be the agents of change that God intended them to be.
As the country’s capital, Kigali, Rwanda, has a population of over 1.1 million people. Of the population there is a percentage of children known as “street kids” who live on the streets of the city and beg for a living. These children face sexual exploitation, starvation, drug abuse and teen pregnancy. More than 60% of the population of Rwanda live on less than $1.25 a day in extreme poverty.
There is a little over 18,400 people living Montrouis, Haiti, a coastal area 1 ½ hours away from Port Au Prince. Haiti is one of the poorest countries in the world with over 6 million people (83 % of the over 10.8 million population) living on less than $2 a day. In 2010 all of Haiti was reduced to rubble by a devastating earthquake that killed over 230,000 and leveled the country. More recently, in 2016 Haiti ravished by Hurricane Matthew. The city of Montrouis was hit especially hard by Matthew, killing 4 people, destroying 1200 homes and 900 farm animals.
There are 30,000 children living in orphanages in Haiti. 52% of Haiti’s overall population is under the age of 24. For the small population of Montrouis, there are 5 orphanages providing food, shelter and education for the children of the area. While primary education is now free, over 75% of young people’s education is still provided for by private schools and organizations. Extreme poverty, lack of sanitation, clean water and shelter make the lives of the young people of Montrouis, Haiti a most difficult one. (1)
Our strategy to accomplish the goals of GuiDANCE Camps is to provide free arts, spiritual, health & wellness, and community service activities for young people in underserved communities.
Upon completion, our hope is to bring the youth to an understanding of who they are, who they are in God, and how to use who and what they are to be a blessing to this world and begin breaking the cycle of poverty that negatively plagues their communities..