Football festival “Open the Heart to the Child!” in the city of Osh
OSH, KYRGYZSTAN, 1 June 2018 – On International Children’s Day, UNICEF in cooperation with Football Academy after Momunova organized a Football Festival which aimed to draw public’s attention to the importance of inclusion of children with disabilities through football. This event is organized for 150 young football players – children with disabilities and adolescents from other vulnerable groups.
The Mayor of the city of Osh Aitmamat Kadirbaev officially opened the festival. The Minister of Social Development of the Kyrgyz Republic Taalaykul Isakunova participated in the festival and congratulated children with the International Children’s Day. Yukie Mokuo, UNICEF Representative in Kyrgyzstan said:
“Over two years UNICEF successfully works for children with the Football Federation of the Kyrgyz Republic. I am happy that children from the city of Osh can now participate in our mutual initiatives. Football is the number one game in the world, which gives an opportunity to every child, including children with disabilities, to show their abilities. And today, on the International Children’s Day I wish every child to be the winner on the football field and in life!”
This initiative takes places within the informational campaign about the rights of the children with disabilities “Open the Door and the Heart to the Child!” in the city of Osh.
“In today’s event we want to stress again that all children are equal. Children with disabilities can play football and it is our shared responsibility to provide all the children with the opportunity to play, to study, to be active in the community with no limits. I want to assure that Osh Mayor’s office will make all the necessary efforts to make sure that today’s festival and this campaign will not be a one-time event. We will make our city the city of open hearts to all children”, said Aitmamat Kadirbaev, the Mayor of the city of Osh.
This festival will take place in the Football academy after Momunova with the support from Football League of the Kyrgyz Republic and the Football Federation of the Kyrgyz Republic. The trainers and specialist will conduct a football warm-up and relay race for children. Famous football players of “Akademia” team, including the captain Roman Mirzakandov and the forward Aziz Keldiyarov, will spend time with children, organize workshops, participate in photo shooting with them and give out autographs. The UNICEF staff will play trivia with children about child’s rights, including rights of the children with disabilities.
In Kyrgyzstan, there are more than 2 million children, including 29,000 children with disabilities. They often face exclusion and discrimination in the society. Football is the favorite game of millions of people. It plays an important role in the integration of children with disabilities, so they could fulfill their potential and show their talents.
UNICEF promotes the rights and wellbeing of every child, in everything we do. Together with our partners, we work in 190 countries and territories to translate that commitment into practical action, focusing special effort on reaching the most vulnerable and excluded children, to the benefit of all children, everywhere.
For more information about UNICEF and its work for children in Kyrgyzstan, visit www.unicef.org/kyrgyzstan.