Will you be my friend? A reflection on Camp Rafiqi 2019

In Arabic, Rafiqi means “my friend.” ETI was started 10 years ago; with the idea that bringing together children with and without disabilities in a fun and educational environment will create lasting authentic friendships, and an understanding of the importance of inclusion. 

This summer, ETI was so excited to celebrate our first decade of our inclusive summer camp and inaugural program, Camp Rafiqi, in Lebanon! Through Camp Rafiqi and all of our inclusive programs, ETI envisions a future where every child will be recognized for their talents and perspectives and the value each individual brings. Our entire curriculum is about understanding one’s self in human-centered design. We want to make sure that everyone feels like they have the agency to make change in their own communities, and empower themselves and others.

Multi-year returning ETI volunteer and teacher for Social Literacy at Life Skills and Social Entrepreneurship at Camp Rafiqi, Karim Itani, baked three cakes for our end of the summer celebration for #ETITurns10

Multi-year returning ETI volunteer and teacher for Social Literacy at Life Skills and Social Entrepreneurship at Camp Rafiqi, Karim Itani, baked three cakes for our end of the summer celebration for #ETITurns10

This summer, Camp Rafiqi had 40 participants from ages 11-18 representing a diverse variety of communities in Lebanon. We offered the following inclusive classes developed to support mind, body, and, soul of all participants:

·      Social entrepreneurship: encouraging positive contribution to communities

·      STEM: supporting and encouraging creativity of the mind through STEM activities

·      Improv and storytelling: understanding one’s self and their own voice

·      Fitness & Recreation: supporting a positive body image and understanding of your body through fun activities

Thank you to everyone who has supported ETI for the past 10 years! We're so excited to continue building an inclusive future together! 

 The ETI Family

image description: Three smiling women hold balloons that spell “ETI”

image description: Three smiling women hold balloons that spell “ETI”