Being one among many for once
For six days the summer camp of the Youth Section of the German Hearing Loss Federation allows young people and adults aged 14 to 35 years old to compare notes with people in the same situation in life. For once they belong to the majority rather than the minority. No one has to be considerate of them. For once they are able to feel as if they are one among many.
Place & Year
Project PartnersYouth Section of the German Hearing Loss Federation
The summer camp of the Youth Section of the German Hearing Loss Federation, supported by the Hear the World Foundation since 2010, takes place every two years in North-Rhine Westphalia/Germany. There is no comparable event for young people with hearing loss anywhere else in Europe. The 150 participants come from all over Germany, some of them even travelling from Switzerland, Austria, Luxembourg and Sweden, and look forward to spending time together.
A week full of sport, fun and games
The participants are able to enjoy life in creative workshops, at sporting events, in heated discussions and in communal games. From self-awareness training to treasure hunts, from lectures on stress management to karaoke parties – there are numerous activities available every day that are guaranteed to offer something for everyone. Yet the most important thing is and remains the feeling of being among like-minded people. Speaking to others, comparing notes and, above all, being understood with all the problems that a person with hearing loss experiences on a daily basis in everyday life. Not having to justify or explain oneself or apologise, but instead being able to simply enjoy the days together.
Help for everyday life in 24 workshops
In addition to all the leisure-time activities, information events offer valuable tips on how to cope with everyday life at home and allow notes to be swapped with like-minded people, the intention being, among other things, to answer the following pivotal questions: How do I deal with my hearing aid in public? What are appropriate strategies when communicating with people who can hear? How do I find my way around in a crowd of people? The participants get to know new friends, strengthen existing contacts and begin to form a community, a network. That helps each individual to develop their own personality, while often also laying the foundation stone for political commitment at the same time. The latter is a special concern of the Youth Section, as it is the only self-help group for young people with hearing loss in Germany.
Hannah Janssen describes the unique atmosphere in the camp
“What makes our summer camp so special is our communication with each other. We all have hearing problems – that is what we have in common – but each of us has his or her own way of communicating. Some talk with words, some use signs, some use both. It doesn’t matter how great or small the limits on anyone’s hearing perception are because at the camp, everyone is able to communicate with everyone else. The mood is one of interest, patience, and the huge respect we have for each other. Each person is happy to make time for others and to listen to them. For us, it is a refuge from everyday life where we can build up our reserves! It’s great to see our reunion bringing out so much energy and potential in every single person. Participating in these activities helps to make ourselves really “heard” in our society!”