Youths from various countries enjoyed a camp organised by the Order of Malta

Participants from five countries, their caregivers and organisers pose for a photo at the camp held at the Singapore Sports School.

Young people with disabilities enjoyed dragon boating at Kallang, free fall simulation at iFly, and a tour of the Botanic Gardens – thanks to the Singapore Association of the Order of Malta.

The 33 youths from Australia, Hong Kong, the Philippines, Thailand and Singapore were the guests of the Church association at a camp specially organised for them from June 8-11.

It was held at the Singapore Sports School and this was the first time that the association has organised an Asia Pacific summer camp for young people with disabilities.

Some participants were accompanied by caregivers, while a large contingent of volunteers, nurses and doctors volunteered to provide round-the-clock care for them.

According to the association, the activities were carefully chosen to encourage the participants, who come from various religious backgrounds, to transcend their normal capabilities.

In addition to enjoying dragon boating at the Kallang River and a gravity-defying experience on Sentosa, participants also took part in an Escape Hunt Experience and toured the Botanic Gardens.

Dragon boating on the Kallang River.

Within the camp grounds, participants enjoyed indoor activities such as boccia, lawn bowling, table games, nightly discos and a fun-fair type carnival.

There was even a croquet challenge cup which was won by the participants from Thailand.

In his homily at the opening Mass, Archbishop William Goh urged the organisers and caregivers to continue to carry out such activities with love in their hearts so that the light of Christ may shine through.

Ms Grace Fu, Minister for Culture, Community and Youth, who declared the camp open, said in her speech that the activities were exciting and challenging. She encouraged more volunteers to organise them.

Both Archbishop Goh and Ms Fu later joined participants and their caregivers for lunch.

According to the Singapore Association of the Order of Malta, the camp was modelled after the international order’s annual International Summer Camp.

The objective is to offer people between 18 and 35 years of age, who have special needs, an opportunity to meet others and to enjoy activities not normally accessible to them.

A participant (left) enjoys a gravity-defying experience at iFly.

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