Malawi Education Outreach

Organization Information:

Organization Name:
World Camp Inc
City & State:
North Carolina
Organization Website:
Organization's Mission Statement

157 S. Lexington Ave Suite B-1 Asheville, NC 28801 888-297-9669 info@worldcampforkids.orgOverview of our Mission: To mobilize volunteers and community partners from across the world to teach, heal, share, and inspire families and communities for a better future by raising awareness of locally challenging issues and encouraging collective pride.

Mission Statement: World Camp enriches the lives of children in disadvantaged communities worldwide. World Camp builds self-worth and encourages community pride by raising awareness about locally challenging issues. World Camp aids in every community's mission to have happy, educated children with aspirations for the future.

Submission Information

Impact Essay

World Camp, Inc. is a nonprofit organization dedicated to the empowerment of children through educational camps around the world. Founded in 2000 by a group of students from the University of North Carolina and Lewis and Clark, the organization seeks to combat the lack of education and its effects. What began as a dedicated group of individuals devastated by the affects of HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa has quickly grown into an organization that provides children in disadvantaged communities with the opportunity to address the very issues that challenge the health, well-being, and quality of life in their communities.

In the nine years since that passionate group of young people poured their hearts, minds, and talents together to affect positive change, World Camp has worked with over 30,000 children, 100 teachers, 400 volunteers, and in more than 175 schools. Our organization currently conducts educational programs concerning HIV/AIDS as well as environmental issues. World Camp’s recent expansion of programming in countries spanning three continents-Malawi, Honduras, and India-and our continual development of more sustainable and effective curricula have been possible, in large part, due to our growing use of various Microsoft Technologies.

Our daily utilization of Microsoft Technologies, specifically the Office Suite software, has helped optimize our mission delivery both by enhancing the quality of our programming and increasing our outreach. These technologies have proved useful in the necessary business aspect of our organization-from helping to create and manage our donor databases and volunteer recruitment to keeping track of our accounting. Programs such as Outlook, Excel, and PowerPoint allow us to function in the day-to-day as an effective nonprofit organization.

However, it is the extensive employment of Microsoft Word in producing documents for our camps that has helped transform the ways in which we can creatively impact communities affected by HIV/AIDS and environmental degradation, enhancing our overall ability to empower children to affect their futures in positive ways. While this is seen in numerous aspects of our programs, it is most evident in the formation of our Teacher Certificates and Camp Journals.

World Camp’s work centers on three day educational camps concerning HIV/AIDS and environmental issues. We primarily work with students, age twelve to sixteen years old. Most of our students live in areas with little to no access to materials and resources about these issues, and factual knowledge can be difficult to come by. While we find our interactive curriculum to be effective in teaching about HIV/AIDS transmission and prevention, it is through using Microsoft Technologies and the creation of our Student and Teacher Journals that the impact of these methods is enhanced. Our Camp Journals serve as a reference space for information covered in our curriculum. Both teachers and students use our journals to take notes, complete activities, and draw diagrams. For schools that lack books, chalk, and desks, these seemingly simple documents make a huge difference. This maximizes our effectiveness as an educational organization because World Camp participants can refer back to the material we discuss in class. By recording statistics about the environment, ways that HIV is transmitted, HIV prevention, and how to care for someone with HIV/AIDS, students and teachers alike are provided with a more tangible way to remember what they learn. Furthermore, students are able to have a record of what they learned to take home and share with members of their communities long after the World Camp program has ended. Teachers take notes on innovative and interactive teaching methods, how they can adopt World Camp’s games into their own curriculum, and ideas on how to foster HIV/AIDS awareness clubs in their communities. Thus, the groups served by our curriculum, as well as our educational programs are empowered through the use of this particular Microsoft Technology.

World Camp’s ability to effectively work towards our mission has dramatically increased with these technologies, as the quality of our programs has improved. Our third day of camp consists of presentations directed and performed by students and recognizing teachers for their participation in our Teacher Workshop. Utilizing Microsoft Technologies, we are able to present each teacher, and the school as a whole, with a certificate endorsed by the Ministry of Education in Malawi. This serves to demonstrate to their students and communities the teachers’ dedication to fighting the AIDS crisis and serving as leaders in their villages. It also represents their open and willing attitude to discuss the challenging issues surrounding the spread of HIV and the effects of deforestation. For teachers who work hard every day to address pressing needs in their schools and communities, these certificates are, for many the only time they are truly recognized for their work.

By recognizing and empowering teachers who complete our workshop, the quality of World Camp’s sustainability initiative is strengthened. Teachers are valued leaders and often the ones that have the most impact in their villages. If teachers are committed to combating HIV and environmental degradation and provided with the knowledge and tools to do so, communities as wholes are better equipped to tackle these challenges and affect positive change.

For example, during our session in Malawi this past January, our coordinators visited Manondo Full Primary School, where World Camp worked in 2006. Even three years later, the Headmaster had the School’s Certificate of Participation with World Camp taped up in his office. He mentioned that it served as a reminder of the group that came and shared with them about HIV/AIDS and deforestation. The Headmaster proceeded to tell us how the discussions World Camp had with their teachers and students had inspired their school to begin an HIV awareness club that worked to share their knowledge about and break down stigmas of HIV positive persons in the surrounding communities.

Thus, not only have Microsoft Technologies, and specifically our Teacher Certificates and Student Journals, enhanced both the quality and impact of our programming, but they have also served to increase World Camp’s impact through the extension of educational outreach, both within our organization and outside it. What may seem like a simple use of a program that most Westerners employ in their daily academic and business activities, for us, has become an innovative tool to help further World Camp’s mission. The materials we use during our camps enable us to increase our effectiveness, impact, and the number of people we reach through HIV/AIDS and environmental education. This in turn contributes to the knowledge, sustainability, and empowerment of individuals and communities across the globe as they address these devastating issues.

Submission Category
Optimize Mission Delivery