Breaking boundaries:

Order of Malta holiday camps for

disadvantaged youth

Lebanese Association of the Order of Malta

“This is the best camp, I am always happy, but sharing this with you makes me happier.”

Rabih, Lebanese guest at the 2022 International Holiday Camp

An impact that lasts a lifetime

The Order of Malta’s summer camps for disabled or disadvantaged people are one of the most powerful and unique parts of our global work. Each summer, young disabled guests and volunteers come from all over the world to attend the International Summer Camps. Over 30 national camps are also held in 16 different countries across the globe, giving disadvantaged children the opportunity to travel, experience new things and make friends.

Young Order of Malta volunteers provide guests with the experience of a lifetime, building confidence by encouraging participation in activities from paragliding, to swimming with dolphins, and the legendary nightly discos.

The impact is long-lasting and life changing on volunteers and guests alike. Summer camps leave young guests feeling empowered, with a sense of community and freedom from the restrictions that can limit their daily lives. Read Attila's story here.

For volunteers, this may be their first experience of the Order's work, and the very special environment of love and service is profound.

Since 2012, with the help of our generous donors, the Fund has given 26 grants to camps from Hong Kong, to Australia, Bulgaria, Romania and the Philippines, breaking down barriers and bringing joy to all those involved.

“Malta Camp provides a space where people can connect with each other; where everyone is equal.”

Volunteer at the International Holiday Camp

Making magical memories in Rome

For many disabled people, COVID-19 shattered their lives, taking away much of their freedom. After two years of pandemic-induced postponement, the Order's 37th International Holiday Camp (Malta Camp) was held in Rome this summer. From 18 different countries, 425 guests and volunteers came together to have a fantastic week including; swimming, bowling, a talent show and arts and crafts. Guests enjoyed an international evening with home-cooked dishes from each nationality's cuisine, visited the Sant'Angelo Castle, the Vatican, the Colosseum, the zoo, the seaside and an adventure park!

Watch the Malta Camp video

Order of Malta Embassy to Bulgaria

"The disco night with new friends is my favourite. Everyone is so happy, they smile at me every time and invite me to dance."

Vasil's summer adventure

Vasil, 23, lives at a centre for disabled children in Bulgaria. The International Holiday Camp in Rome was his first time abroad.

Vasil loved meeting other young disabled people from around the world and seeing how happy they were. He was able experience a world of no barriers or taboos, only joy. He is looking forward to showing his friends back home the new games he has learnt.

Faces of the Fund

"It was so satisfying to see that the spirit of the camp didn’t die with Covid."

Having started their volunteering at the International Holiday Camps 15 years ago, Thomas van de Werve and Charles-Edouard d’Otreppe are now taking on the challenge of organising the 2023 International Holiday Camp in Belgium.

We spoke to them about their time in Rome for this year’s camp and their preparations for next summer.

Read the full interview

Sparking new works

In 2021, the Australian Association of the Order of Malta hosted the Asia Pacific Holiday Camp. It was so successful that the Association hosted two new camps in Sydney and Melbourne this year, giving young, disabled people across Australia the chance to share exceptional experiences and form lifelong friendships.

Jamie, 24, "won't normally go near sand and won't go to the beach. But he did today. He got sand between his toes, patted the dolphin and is still smiling!"

Australian Association of the Order of Malta

A summer break with a difference

"It is an amazing experience for anyone wanting to come because you are pushed on every level, adapting to the team and the guests."

The Fund interviewed Helena Letman, of the British Association of the Order of Malta who spent three weeks this summer volunteering at the Order's summer camp for disabled people in Romania.

Read about Helena's experience here.

Visit Vision 2050 for more volunteering opportunities

Ten years of the Fund

In 2022, the Fund is celebrating ten years of supporting the Order of Malta's work around the world.

To commemorate this, the Magisterial Post Office has produced four unique stamps.

The photographs chosen for the stamps exemplify the work the Fund supports in aid of the Forgotten.

To learn more, email

Support the Forgotten

Since 2012, the Fund's support has reached over two million people.

We are grateful to our generous donors and supporters for helping us achieve this.

Please help this work continue.

Donate here
To discuss a larger gift, or supporting a specific area of work, contact
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