Volunteer profile from the Asia Pacific Disabled Youth Camp
The 2nd Order of Malta Asia Pacific Disabled Youth Camp was held in June and this year the Philippines were host.
Team Australia consisted of four participants and their carers as well as two volunteers. We asked one volunteer, Maddy Hardjono to share her experiences of the camp.
A: I had the amazing experience of being involved as a volunteer at the Order of Malta Asia Pacific Youth Camp 2018. As a volunteer I was involved in helping people with disabilities participate in the activities organised and any other parts to the camp that I thought I would be helpful with.
Some of the activities that the different country teams participated in on Day one included Cheering Squad competitions, where countries cheered themselves on versing each other and group games such as ball relays, ring shooting, balloon races, and obstacle races. In the evening after dinner there was a disco, and everyone danced the night away – everyone got involved even those in a wheelchair did very well with awesome moves.
On day two we were set to eat lunch at the waterfall area, however there was torrential rain so we all ate in the Coconut Pavilion. In the afternoon there was face painting and everyone also took part in Arts and Craft activities. There was pasta making (I got involved in this one), Boccia, bag painting, palm leaves weaving, tray making out of coconut husks, rosary making, board games – Chess, Scrabble, Monopoly, Domino, Dama, Puzzles and Milles Bornes.
In the evening there was a cultural night with a photo booth. This is when each country did a presentation of their choice (the Aussie team sang ‘We are one’) and set up a table of souvenirs and foods that we then exchanged with each other.
After lunch we had the closing mass and then the closing ceremony followed by the Gala dinner, a disco and a last swim in the pool.
Q: What do think the participants got out of the experience?
A: I think it was a great experience for everyone, especially the participants, as everyone made friends from all around the world and were able to share their stories and challenges with each other. I was quite impressed with the Thailand team who had blind participates who came on their own with no carers.
Q: What did you as a volunteer get out of the experience?
A: I made some life-long friends – people from Australia I have never met before and people from all around the world. I would absolutely do it again! Looking forward to the next camp in Hong Kong 2019. To anyone considering volunteering I would say “Just do it”, you won’t regret it.
Q: What was the highlight for you?
A: The disco dances because it brought everyone together disability or not…… and the waterfall lunch, it was a beautiful view and challenging yet interesting experience.