Sony Foundation Children’s Holiday Camp Program is a unique respite program that see high school and university students take on the full time care of children with special needs, allowed their families to have invaluable time off, respite they often wouldn’t otherwise receive.
The program, which began with one camp in 1999, has since expanded to 26 camps in 46 schools and 4 universities. To give some perspective on the power of this program, in 2017 across Australia over 1100 student companions will provide care for more than 600 children with special needs across Australia.
But beyond the facts and figures of this program, is the sense of community, kindness and unity this program is building.
“Last night after picking up my son from Camp, as I relaxed and reflected on my day, the tears would not stop flowing. They were tears of pure joy and gratefulness. My son is a 10 year old living with ASD. Life has been challenging.
When you are told your child has special needs I think one of the things that comes to mind is all of the things he/she may not be able to do. You have given him the opportunity to spend some time away from his mama and papa and meet new friends. He has never had the chance to spend a few days and nights in the company of other kids. But you offered that to him and by doing that you allowed my husband and I to spend some time together, catching up on just us. Words can’t even begin to express how I feel right now…..refreshed, grateful, joyful……as a parent of a special needs child we spend a lot of time wondering about what our kids life will look like, you showed me this weekend that if can look very bright! Thank you so much again for the opportunity you offered my son and for allowing my husband and I to reconnect. Forever grateful!”
Tricia, mother of camper, Marist Ashgrove Sony Camp 2017
Most recently, some of the Queensland Camps have been taking place from Mackay through to Townsville and Brisbane.
As always, the campers have been treated to activities galore and surprise visits with the Sony Marist Camp receiving a surprise visit from Sony Foundation ambassador Jessica Mauboy.
Click here to watch the wonderful story from Rainbow Corporate Partner, Seven.
Check out some of the happy snaps from our Queensland camps! To learn more about Sony Foundation’s Children’s Holiday Camp Program click here