Third Asia Pacific camp for young disabled opens in Hong Kong
Fine weather greets participants from across Asia Pacific
Hong Kong, 23 October 2019
Third Asia Pacific summer camp for young disabled
The third summer camp for disabled young in the Asia Pacific area began today in Hong Kong in an atmosphere of great enthusiasm and 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 participate.
After the inaugural Mass and welcome speeches by the President of the Hong Kong Association Denis Chang and 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. 33 disabled guests, 50 volunteers and 20 staff are taking part.
In the Activity Centre of the Hong Kong Jockey Club, Pokfulam, guests swam, practised archery, climbed an artificial climbing wall – with harnesses for all guests, including those in wheelchairs. The Grand Hospitaller took up this challenge too, climbing the wall with the young guests. Many creative activities were on offer, from make-up to bricolage workshops to a range of indoor games.
Other events include travel on the Adventure-Ship, an organisation that helps young people of all abilities to develop self-esteem and self-confidence through adventures at sea. Guests will also take the tram to Victoria Peak, the highest point on the island, which offers spectacular panoramic views.
This is one of the first international camps for young disabled to be held in Hong Kong. It involved a year of planning by Sophie and Alfons Mensdorff-Poully, leaders of the camp and the volunteers.
There are 17 Hong Kong guests, plus guests from Indonesia, continental China, Cambodia, Australia and Netherlands. As well as the Hong Kong volunteers, there are representations from Australia, Cambodia, China, Korea and Singapore, as well as from Austria, Germany, Italy, United Kingdom and the United States.