2019 Asia Pacific Camp for Disabled Youth in Hong Kong
The third summer camp for the disabled young in the Asian and Pacific area took place from October 23 – 26, 2019 in Hong Kong. It was full of an atmosphere of excitement and enthusiasm, and was also gifted with fine weather. The Order of Malta’s Hong Kong Association and its volunteers received the guests together with local and foreign volunteers, who had responded en masse and even crossed oceans to reach the city-state.
After the inaugural mass and welcome speeches by the President of the Hong Kong Association Denis Chang and the Hospitaller Desiree Jebsen, the camp was declared open by Grand Hospitaller Dominique de La Rochefoucauld-Montbel. Guests from each country paraded with their flags to great applause from all participants. There are 33 disabled guests and some 50 volunteers plus 20 staff who will animate this third edition of the youth camp.
The first day consisted of numerous activities at the Activity Center of the Hong Kong Jockey Club in Pokfulam. Guests could swim, making the most of this sunny day, or practise archery. There was also an artificial climbing wall with harnesses for all guests, including those in wheelchairs. There were also various creative activities, from make-up to bricolage workshops and numerous other indoor games.
Days 2 and 3 included a voyage on the Adventure-Ship, an organization that helps young people of all abilities to develop self-esteem and self-confidence through adventures at sea. Guests were also able to admire Hong Kong’s beautiful coastline and also take the tram that climbs to Victoria Peak, the highest point of the island, offering them a spectacular view over the city and its port. Music and magic were part of the evening entertainment with a DJ from Berlin and a professional magician who amazed and delighted everyone with his tricks.
This is the first international camp for disabled youths to be held in Hong Kong. Sophie and Alfons Mensdorff-Poully, leaders of the camp, spent a year meticulously planning it, coordinating an extraordinary group of volunteers.
There were over 50 guests with disabilities who attended, coming from Hong Kong, Indonesia, continental China, Cambodia, Australia and Netherlands. The Hong Kong volunteers are flanked by those from Singapore, Australia, Cambodia, United States, China, Germany, Austria, Korea, United Kingdom and Italy.
The 2020 Camp for Disabled Youth will be held in Australia.
Watch the highlights video from the 2019 Camp: