News from the WFH 2014 Congress

Wed 2 Apr 2014

Prior to the World Federation Hemophilia (WFH) 2014 Congress, Haemophilia Foundation Australia (HFA) held a weekend for people affected by bleeding disorders and aged between 18-30 from around Australia who would also be attending the Congress. HFA asked Tim Marchinton and his team at Purple Soup, an adventure therapy organisation, to facilitate the weekend.

Almost 30 young people attended the weekend, designed to urge youth delegates to move out of their comfort zone and meet other young people with bleeding disorders. The Youth Meet and Great weekend was set along the banks of the Yarra River in Melbourne and involved a variety of activities including movie making, cupcake decorating and mock poker tournaments. A challenging race around the CBD was also held where teams of youth delegates had to answer questions such as how many light poles are there at Parliament House.

Many international youth delegates who attended the National Member Organisation (NMO) training before Congress also joined our Australian youth delegates for the cupcake decorating, which was judged by some members of the WFH Executive Committee and Frank Schnabel IV, grandson of the Founder of the World Federation of Hemophilia, before the Congress Opening Ceremony on the Sunday night. While many of the Congress sessions were oriented towards health professionals, there were also youth sessions in which our Australian youth were actively engaged.

It was a great experience to see many of our young Australians with bleeding disorders in one place together. It was also good to see our Australian youth interact with other youth delegates from around the world and make new and lasting friendships throughout Congress. From attending the Congress sessions and learning new information to watching a local AFL match, all the youth delegates made sure they took the most they could from the week. Many young women with a bleeding disorder met other young women in a similar position as them for the first time in their lives. The youth weekend also gave partners of people with a bleeding disorder insight into the small but vibrant Australian youth bleeding disorders community.

Our youth leaders and mentors intend to work with HFA to continue to foster their new friendships and connections and to ensure youth affected by a bleeding disorder in Australia have a chance to stay connected and involved.

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