Champions with Our Support: Promoting the rights of children with disabilities in Romania
BUCHAREST, 14 November 2007 - “I want to win, but, if I do not succeed, I want to be brave in my attempt!” This was the emotional oath that the young Special Olympics sportsman Serban Nicolescu took in Floreasca Sports Hall in front of an audience of nearly 1,000 people.
"Motivation Romania" together with UNICEF, organized the “Champions with Our Support” event to prove that all the people, and especially children with disabilities, can make their hopes come true if they stand by them. Nearly 1,000 people attended the event.
10 children with disabilities and 50 gendarmes participated in the Torch Run from University Square to Floreasca Hall din Piaţa Universităţii până la Sala Floreasca.
They were accompanied by the renowned athletes Elisabeta Lipă, Monica Iagăr, Gabriela Szabo and Corina Ţifrea.
Representatives of the Special School No. 10 (for children with disabilities) and of the Spiru Haret National College gave an extraordinary performance of basketball.
Also, other representatives of Motivation Romania played a short game of wheelchair basketball. The event was presented by Larisa Claru and Cristian Ţopescu and ended with a show by the popular band Hi-Q.
“I am sure that this performance convinced everyone of the talent of these special children. They achieved these remarkable results with our support and it is our duty to stand by their side and encourage them in everything they do. The great number of participants, to all the four events of the campaign, proves that people care and that these children can be successfully integrated in the community,” said Cristian Ispas, General Manager Motivation Romania.
The action is part of an awareness and information campaign about children and grown-ups with disabilities developed with the purpose to increase the visibility and presence of these persons in the community life. The main goals of this campaign are the wide audience’s acknowledgement of the abilities of children with special needs, influencing and improving the populations’ attitude through activities designed to increase the knowledge about the life and activities of people with disabilities and increasing the authorities’ involvement in awareness campaigns.
This campaign, along other initiatives, is a component of the Promotion of the rights of children with disabilities project financially supported by UNICEF. Motivation Romania will provide assistance to 140 children with intellectual disabilities from three special institutions, especially towards increasing their participation to community life and enhancing their skills.
The Bucharest show ended the series of performances in this campaign. The other Champions with our support events took place in Arad (2 November 2007), Roman (6 November 2007) and Bacău (7 November 2007).
Throughout the campaign, other great athletes were present at the events to give their support to the children: Helmuth Duckadam in Arad, Bianca Perie in Roman and Doina Melinte in Bacău.
Motivation is an NGO producing customized wheelchairs and offering services for an independent community life for people with disabilities living with their families or in institutions.
About Break the Barriers
Break the Barriers is a team trained by Mariana Mezei, master of sports, and is made of 9 professional gymnasts, 4 wheelchair users from Motivation Romania and 5 Special Olympics sportsmen.
UNICEF is on the ground in over 150 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments.