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“Sama Sama” summer camp offers creative ways to teach Filipino culture

OAKLAND, CA — This was the 3rd annual community building fundraiser called Sayawan.

It was a free event, which featured a variety of music and dance and raised $7,000 for the Sama Sama Cooperative — a cooperative-led summer day camp, centering on Filipino American cultural and ecological heritage with Tagalog immersion.

“Many parents are second and third generation Filipinos, and unfortunately, many of us were not passed on the gift of language,” said Gala King, Sama Sama founding parent. “So it’s really important for us to create a space where our youth are exposed to Filipino language, in this case Tagalog, as well as our history and our culture — to help ground their own resiliency in being Filipino here in this country.”

Children ages 5-to-11 experience many different interactive opportunities to learn about their Filipino culture, like making Filipino food.

“We break down the techniques. We use whole entire ingredients, and we always begin in what we call our Bilal circle — gathering together as a group, exploring the ingredients, the ecology of them, and where they came from,” said Aileen Suzara, cultural foods educator. “And actually, one of the other rich components of our culinary education has been getting to work with local farmers and growers that really take care of the seeds and know where they come from.”

Parents also said they get a lot out of the summer camp, just as much as their kids.

“It’s an experience for the parents to see their kids become more sensitized to their culture,” said Paul Ambrosio. “For the kids, it gives them the opportunity to grow with their peers and learn of their culture, and honestly there are limited opportunities to do that in the United States.”

The Sama Sama program, while still fairly new, has already been noticed by other organizations for their unique approach to cultural appreciation.

“We’ve been contacted by a lot of other communities that are recognizing the uniqueness and our asking for us to share our model, share our curriculum, which we are happy to do. We think it’s something we would love to see in all Filipino-American communities.”

This year’s camp will be held at Lake Merritt United Methodist Church, and will run for four weeks, from June 26 through July 21.

For more information about the camp you can visit samasamacooperative.org.

 

3 Comments on this post.

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  • Steve Dorado
    6 May 2017 at 1:10 am - Reply

    WHAT IS SAMA SAMA?

    Sama Sama Summer Camp is an outdoor day camp for children ages 5-12 years-old. Located in the SF Bay Area (East Bay), the camp is designed to provide children a fun, engaging and critical way of exploring the intersections of culture, arts, and ecology. With Tagalog language immersion, indigenous music, dance, and exploration of our ecological heritage, Sama Sama is a summer camp experience unlike any other.

    Sama, means “All together” in Tagalog. As a cooperative-run camp, families contribute their time, resources, and talent to create an enriching experience. Sama Sama is also a space for intergenerational learning and teaching. Our young people and elders have much to share with one another, and through dialogue, interactive learning opportunities, we can better understand ourselves, our history, and our part in the Philippine diaspora.

    Please visit us at http://www.samasamacooperative.org !
    And here’s our latest promo video: https://youtu.be/ioFk9vkK7vM
    …and a feature about Sama Sama, aired on sister program Adobo Nation: https://vimeo.com/141479360

    Your support is greatly appreciated! To donate, please visit: http://samasamacooperative.org/?page_id=22

    Support Sama Sama! Your donation will go to support our unique programming, talented teachers and scholarship fund. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Sama Sama Cooperative is fiscally sponsored by the Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO).

    * Many thanks to Rommel Conclara of Balitang America for sharing our story! *

  • Steve Dorado
    6 May 2017 at 1:11 am - Reply

    WHAT IS SAMA SAMA?

    Sama Sama Summer Camp is an outdoor day camp for children ages 5-12 years-old. Located in the SF Bay Area (East Bay), the camp is designed to provide children a fun, engaging and critical way of exploring the intersections of culture, arts, and ecology. With Tagalog language immersion, indigenous music, dance, and exploration of our ecological heritage, Sama Sama is a summer camp experience unlike any other.

    Sama, means “All together” in Tagalog. As a cooperative-run camp, families contribute their time, resources, and talent to create an enriching experience. Sama Sama is also a space for intergenerational learning and teaching. Our young people and elders have much to share with one another, and through dialogue, interactive learning opportunities, we can better understand ourselves, our history, and our part in the Philippine diaspora.

    And here’s our latest promo video: https://youtu.be/ioFk9vkK7vM
    …and a feature about Sama Sama, aired on sister program Adobo Nation: https://vimeo.com/141479360

    Your support is greatly appreciated! To donate, please visit: http://samasamacooperative.org/?page_id=22

    Support Sama Sama! Your donation will go to support our unique programming, talented teachers and scholarship fund. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Sama Sama Cooperative is fiscally sponsored by the Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO).

    * Many thanks to Rommel Conclara of Balitang America for sharing our story! *

  • Steve Dorado
    6 May 2017 at 10:35 am - Reply

    With love, from Sama Sama Cooperative:
    “Your support is greatly appreciated!
    To donate, please visit:
    http://samasamacooperative.org/?page_id=22

    Please support Sama Sama! Your donation will go to support our unique programming, talented teachers and scholarship fund. Your contribution is tax-deductible to the extent allowed by law. Sama Sama Cooperative is fiscally sponsored by the Center for Third World Organizing (CTWO).”

    * Many thanks to Rommel Conclara of Balitang America for sharing our story! *

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