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To remove all barriers

The spirit of the Order of Malta summer camps for young disabled

Summer, 2014

Order of Malta summer camp, Ukraine 2014

Order of Malta summer camp, Ukraine 2014

For the Order of Malta, summer means camps for disabled young people and a chance for members and volunteers to offer their services. Whether volunteer or guest, it is a unique and enriching experience for everyone. Just a few examples: 

International: The Order of Malta International Summer Camp

‘Friendship in freedom!’ This year it is the turn of the Netherlands to host the 31st International Camp for disabled young people. Some 500 people from 20 countries will participate from 9 to 16 August for a week of friendship, team work, entertainment and integration for the disabled aged from 18 to 35. Thanks to the support of the Dutch Ministry of Defence, the camp will be held in the Royal Netherlands Army Base “Harskamp/General Winkelman” in the splendid setting of the De Veluwe national park, 50 kilometres south-east of Amsterdam. As always, the Grand Master of the Order of Malta Fra’ Matthew Festing will be taking part in the International Camp. 

Ukraine: Summer camp in the Carpathians for young from northern Europe

‘Ukraine, dream! – to dream of a new, joyful, happy and peaceful Ukraine, where everyone can find their way, to realise their full potential.’ The motto inspired the Order’s 15th annual summer camp in Dora, Ukraine, for young disabled. From 29 June to 6 July, the Order hosted guests from Ukraine, Byelorussia, Russia and Germany in the beautiful Carpathian Mountains. Guests went walking in the mountains, learned how to carve and create dolls, took part in cooking competitions and first-aid courses, sang with full hearts and enjoyed themselves hugely together. All the activities were accompanied by daily prayers and religious celebrations. As every year, the event was organised by Ukrainska Maltijska Sluzba Dopomohy, the Order of Malta’s Relief Corps in Ukraine which operates from Lviv. 

Lebanon: Nine summer camps in Sourat north of Beirut

There are nine summer camps organised in Sourat, Lebanon. European young – mainly German, British and Dutch – are working alongside their Lebanese contemporaries to offer a week of recreational activities to guests with physical and mental disabilities from hospitals or specialised centres in Lebanon. This is an important emotional and cultural experience for all. The first camp started 29 June and the last ends 11 September. 

Order of Malta summer camp, Lebanon 2014

Order of Malta summer camp, Lebanon 2014

Italy: Young Italian guests gather near Bologna

‘Remove all barriers.’ The Italian summer camp for the disabled, organised by the Sovereign Order of Malta’s three Italian Grand Priories and Relief Corps, is underway in Ozzano, near Bologna, 28 July-3 August. Guests are sharing fun, friendship and spirituality. The camps grow every year as word gets around – so this time there are 40 guests and some 70 volunteers, plus 10 kitchen staff (in 2013 there were 90 participants and organisers). 

Order of Malta summer camp, Italy

Order of Malta summer camp, Italy

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The mission of the Order of Malta is inspired by its tradition of ‘Tuitio Fidei et Obsequium Pauperum', to assist the poor and the sick, and bear witness to the Christian faith.


The Sovereign Order of Malta is a sovereign subject of international law. The Order - which is based in Rome, in via Condotti - has its own Government, an independent magistracy, and bilateral diplomatic relations with 110 countries.


The Order of St John of Jerusalem is one of the oldest institutions of Western and Christian civilisation. Present in Palestine in around 1048, it is a lay religious Order, traditionally of military, chivalrous, noble nature.