More than 1,500 boys and girls took part in the children's charity run
The Children's Run was held at Minsk Half Marathon on September 11. It was organized by UNICEF Belarus and MTS with the support of the Belarusian Athletics Federation. Over 1,500 children ran 500 meters to support children with disabilities.
Children aged 3-12 took part in the race. Everyone at the finish line received a "champion's medal". There was no competition. The main goal of the race was to give all children an opportunity to join and draw attention to the topic of inclusion.
The 11-year-old Margarita with cerebral palsy counted the hours before the start. Together with her mother they prepared an outfit, sewed flowers to a fluffy skirt: "marguerites" for Margarita.
"Margarita studies at a special boarding school No. 10," says Olga, the girl’s mother. "But we are ready to transfer her to an integrated class at a school near home as soon as we get such an opportunity."
There was an entertainment platform organized by MTS and UNICEF Belarus at the Dynamo stadium, next to the body of the race for children. There was a photo area, a wall for drawing and games.
The Children's run is part of the Move4Good charity sports project. The purpose of the race and the project is to promote a healthy lifestyle and sports. In addition, Move4Good draws attention to the issue of inclusive education.
With the funds raised, UNICEF Belarus will purchase assistive technologies – special equipment that allows children with disabilities and special educational needs to study at school equally with the other children.
"I studied at home, but if I had such an opportunity, I would choose to study at school with other children," says the 22-year-old Maksim, who came to support his family at the Minsk Half Marathon. "Because any person in the 21st century needs to socialize. And if everyone had such an opportunity, then the attitude towards people with disabilities would be different. After all, all the children and adolescents should understand that there are children like us. And we are also normal, and we want to communicate, learn and be friends."
With funds raised through Move4Good in 2021, UNICEF Belarus purchased assistive equipment for Ulyana from Berezovka.
Ulyana has cerebral palsy and serious vision problems. Without assistive equipment – a specialized desk, chair and a TV – she could not continue her studies. As her chair didn't have special fixation, she was simply slipping off it. And without a magnifier or a TV, she couldn't see educational materials. With the new equipment, the girl will continue to study at school and go to the 8th grade.
"Equal treatment of all children, including children with disabilities, is an important step towards an inclusive society where everyone feels valued, where everyone can exercise their rights and opportunities on an equal footing with everyone else. We are pleased to see that so many people are ready to support the development of inclusion in Belarus," said Tanja Radocaj, UNICEF Representative in Belarus.
In 2022, thanks to you, we raised about 14,000 BYN for the purchase of assistive equipment. The charity fundraiser at www.move4good.by is open until September 30, and you can still support boys and girls with disabilities.