The 20th edition of Al Bawasil Camp, being held under the slogan ‘We Can’ and hosted by Qatar Diabetes Association, (QDA) started yesterday.
It hosts 50 children aged 7-11, from 12 countries from the region and beyond: Qatar, Kuwait, Oman, Sudan, Algeria, Libya, Palestine, Iran, Jordan, Tunisia, Morocco, and South Africa.
As QDA, part of Qatar Foundation,  marks two decades of supporting children with diabetes, its executive director, Dr Abdulla al-Hamaq, highlighted the important features of the camp, held under the patronage of HE Sheikh Mohamed bin Hamad bin Khalifa al-Thani, its honorary president.
“Her Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser, Chairperson of Qatar Foundation, identified the necessity of establishing a camp in Qatar where children from different countries who had been diagnosed with diabetes would meet to provide them with a unique and enjoyable experience in a safe environment,” noted, Dr al-Hamaq.
Al Bawasil Camp offers a daily educational programme that includes a range of recreational activities, some of which are held in cooperation with QF’s Recreation Centre, to help children learn the best ways of controlling diabetes and coexisting with diabetes. It also allows children with diabetes to meet in one place and exchange their experiences with each other.
The camp is run by a qualified team consisting of resident doctors, nurses and dietitians, and administrative teams, including people with diabetes who have previously participated in Al Bawasil.
Awatif Hussein El-Sayed, public relations officer, QDA, said, “The first experience  of a diabetes camp was in the US, and it was a very good experience.This led us to launch our first camp in 1999, including children from all the GCC countries, and after 10 years the camp became regional by opening the door to children with diabetes from countries across the Middle East and
North Africa.”
“Over the years, the Al Bawasil Camp has become one of the largest and most important diabetes awareness-raising activities in the region. The International Diabetes Federation announced in 2013 that it would be considered a global camp that can receive children from around the world to build and promote a successful coexistence with diabetes,” added El-Sayed.