AAMA will carry out 3 summer camps so that 60 children and young people with disabilities can have a sports vacation adapted to their needs with constant individual support from a monitor for each participant.
AAMA will hold 3 summer camps for 60 children and young people with disabilities: Camp Abilities Portugal, a closed camp and an open camp. Camp abilities are an adaptation of an American model of summer camps for visually impaired youth with individual support. The innovation factor is the fact that the monitors are also children and young people, the latter without any disability. The mission of this colony is the INCLUSION, through sports activity, of children with visual impairments and so-called normal children. Thus, two major objectives are worked on: On the one hand, to give visually impaired participants the opportunity, in a safe environment, to experience different sports, in the company of visual and blind peers. On the other hand, give young people without disabilities the opportunity to socialize and help people with visual impairments, so that they have a more positive idea of their abilities and are more aware of their integration into society. At the Alfeite Naval Base, 40 children and young people (20 visually impaired and 20 visually impaired) will be able to perform different activities, for the first time in their lives: diving, boat driving, boxing, pastry, athletics, football, capoeira, judo and surfing. The open and closed summer camp programs are leisure time programs and are aimed at children and young people with pervasive developmental disorders, autism spectrum, any other type of disability or special needs.
The following activities will be carried out: Dramatic Expression, Activities of Daily Living, Psychomotor Activities (gym circuits with different materials); football, athletics, basketball, Bicycles, scooters and skates; Plastic expression (cutouts, collages, graphics, fittings, puzzles, etc.); Adapted Swimming; Workshops (music, dance, therapy dogs, hippotherapy, martial arts etc…) and Visits abroad (museums and parks).
The camps are based on an American summer camp model developed in Bradford Woods, Indiana (USA) in which all participants are individually monitored.
Open and closed summer camp programs have three main goals:
- Give children and young people with disabilities the opportunity to participate in a sports camp, safe and adapted to their characteristics.
- Give the opportunity to newly graduated technicians and young university students to have a unique experience with special populations. Initially, they have theoretical-practical training on disability, activities and strategies. During the field, they are supervised by coordinators with extensive experience in the field of disability, who accompany and guide them in the best way to interact and work with children and young people with special needs.
In all camps, participants with disabilities are monitored individually by a monitor on a permanent basis.
The open holiday camp is intended for children aged between 3 and 12 years old, and operates on a day-to-day basis for 10 days, from 9 am to 5 pm. In this field 18 children participate in 3 groups. For every 6 children, there are 8 adults to accompany (6 volunteer monitors in direct support, a volunteer to program activities and a direct coordinator).
The closed summer camp is intended for children and young people over 10 years of age with autism spectrum disorders or other disabilities who are independent in walking. It works on a boarding basis for 6 days 24/hours a day. In this field 22 young people participate in 3 groups. For each group of 7/8 young people, there are 10 adults to be monitored permanently (2 direct coordinators and 8 monitors). The field is also supervised by two general coordinators on a permanent basis.
We have teams of trained and motivated coordinators. There are also volunteers willing to help and participate in a practical experience with special populations and, of course, we cannot ignore the many families for whom this week is the only vacation where their children can experience something different and they, parents, can recharge their batteries, for another intense year of caring for a child with special needs.
But all this will only be possible with your help and that of everyone who wants to contribute to putting this project on its feet.