Family Festival in Cahul and Ungheni - a celebration of social inclusion and active lifestyle
Organized with EU support as part of the EU4Moldova Programme: Focal Regions
Chisinau, 14 October: More than 500 children, their parents, and caregivers, as well as teachers participated in the Family Festival - an event organized in Cahul and Ungheni by UNICEF Moldova in partnership with the Moldovan Football Federation, the local municipalities, and the district councils of Ungheni and Cahul.
The event promotes active lifestyle and inclusion of children with disabilities and special needs in their communities and is part of the "EU4Moldova: Key Regions", funded by the European Union.
"Our participation in the Family Festival is one more opportunity to engage in being champions of inclusion, creating communities where every child is valued and has an equal opportunity to participate in community activities and sports, learn in a friendly and inclusive environment, and enjoy a happy life. I encourage everyone to celebrate each child's abilities and diversity more often and contribute to developing an inclusive society."
"Football is for everyone. It makes no difference and allows all participants to practice football for a healthy lifestyle. "Empowered through football: embracing together a healthy and inclusive lifestyle" - this project has a major impact in promoting the inclusion of children with disabilities and special needs in sports activities. It has also provided support to teachers in Cahul and Ungheni regions. Once again, we have demonstrated that football is a powerful tool to promote a range of important life skills for children and adults", said Diana Bulgaru, FMF Grassroots Projects Manager.
The children played in five sports competitions - ball handling, bilateral play, handball, classic football, and the fun relay - activities that stimulated their curiosity and taught teamwork. At the district stadium "Atlant" in Cahul and the municipal stadium in Ungheni, the participants were guided by two UEFA-licensed coaches and physical education teachers, previously trained in inclusion workshops on the effective integration of children with disabilities and special needs into the school community, with a focus on the use of sports activities.
"We are all different and, at the same time, the same. First, we are human beings whose hearts beat in our chests, a heart that enjoys or suffers the same. And because we are human, we should care for everyone around us, our fellow human beings and our children, regardless of their small differences, for which they are not guilty. A healthy society means education based on non-discrimination, empathy, affection, friendship, etc. All this should come from parents, every day, passed on by their example. Today's event is an opportunity to help adults explain to their children certain things that would later make them responsible, generous, and caring citizens. Thank you, EU, UNICEF, UNDP, and of course, Moldovan Football Federation!", said Tatiana Romaniuc, deputy mayor of Cahul municipality.
"Social inclusion, strengthening friendships and family has always been the focus of the Ungheni Municipality. In this context, we welcome the organization of the Family Festival in Ungheni. This event will certainly positively impact the population's awareness that we are all different and, at the same time, the same. Only together we are strong. We thank the initiators and organizers of this important event for Ungheni and its people", said Tudor Gavriliuc, Acting Mayor of Ungheni.
The Family Festival is part of the series of events organized in the Cahul and Ungheni regions as part of the EU4Moldova Programme: Focal Regions, funded by the EU and implemented by UNICEF and UNDP, to contribute to the general well-being of the population, the development of an inclusive society that embraces diversity and promotes the rights of every child.