Special Olympics, UNICEF work together to tackle exclusion of children in Indonesia
JAKARTA, 4 June 2010 – Greater inclusion of all Indonesian children and the active participation of the children and young people in society are the goals of a new partnership signed today between Special Olympics Indonesia and UNICEF, in a special ceremony at the Ministry of Youth and Sports.
“By working with UNICEF, I believe we can raise greater awareness among Indonesian communities on the importance of acceptance and inclusion of all Indonesian children, in particular children with intellectual disabilities, so they can develop their potential and be independent,” says Dr. Pudji Hastuti, Chair of the Special Olympics Indonesia.
Angela Kearney, UNICEF Representative in Indonesia, said “Today the Special Olympics Indonesia and UNICEF are sending a clear message that children have an enormous potential to offer this nation, regardless of their circumstances, and that they deserve every support, encouragement and opportunity.”
The Special Olympics’ mission is to provide opportunities for children with intellectual disabilities to develop their capacity, self-confidence and self-esteem through sports. Globally, UNICEF has shown that sport is a useful tool for empowering and enabling children and young people, reducing social exclusion, discrimination and inequalities.
Many children in Indonesia are still struggling to access basic services and share in opportunities that other children enjoy, despite years of child care reform and much greater levels of awareness. One fourth of children in Indonesia do not move from primary to secondary schooling, almost 5 million children live in institutional care despite of having at least one living parent or other family members, while more than one-third of children under the age of five suffer from stunting.
Children with intellectual disabilities, who may suffer cognitive delays and significant learning or vocational problems, also experience forms of discrimination that can undermine their self-esteem and their interaction with others, which make them more vulnerable to violence, abuse and exploitation.
Through the partnership signed today, UNICEF is providing funding to Special Olympics Indonesia to support its activities with children, with both organizations also using the collaboration to promote the message of inclusion and equality through sporting events. One of the first events associated with the partnership will be the 6th National Special Olympics Games – an event that showcases the incredible talents, motivation and commitment of children with intellectual disabilities.
The Special Olympics Indonesia has encouraged the reduction of inequality amongst Indonesian children, and counter stigma associated with intellectual disabilities through sport.
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