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For the first time in the history of the National Football, the game Moldova-England will be dedicated to children with disabilities

© UNICEF Moldova

   Chisinau, 04 September, 2012: A social campaign with the message „I know I can” will be launched together with the football game Moldova-England, which will take place in Chisinau, on September 7, 2012 for the 2014 preliminaries.

  The message of the campaign „ I KNOW I CAN”─ is the message from the children with disabilities towards the society, through which they tell everyone that they are the same as other children and need the chance to prove it.

  The campaign includes several activities for raising awareness, among which a video spot having as main character the coach of the national football team, Ion Caras and a girl with disabilities, a banner placed on a visible spot on the stadium, dissemination of visibility materials during the game (caps, scarfs), promotion of the messages of the campaign in mass media.

  The main character in the video is Irina, a girl with Down syndrome, who loves football and kicks the ball with a lot of talent. She impresses the coach Ion Caras and he decides to invite her to be part of his team, being most certain that only together they can win.

  “We are sure of our victory as this is the first time we dedicate the game to a social cause – children with disabilities. I, together with each member of the national team believe that these kids are the same as everyone else. We don’t want them to be isolated in institutions or stay locked in their homes, we want them to live among us and actively be a part of everyday life. They CAN do this”, said Ion Caras, the couch of the national team at the press conference before the game.

  According to UNICEF, children with disabilities are among the most stigmatized and excluded children in the world. In Moldova, for example, one out of 5 persons considers that children with disabilities should be institutionalized, and less than half of the parents would accept their kids playing with children with disabilities.

  “Each of us has flaws. And this makes us special. But it is very important to accept it and to see each other’s abilities, not disabilities”, said Alexandra Yuster, UNICEF Moldova Representative.

  The campaign with the message „ I KNOW I CAN” is organised with the support of Moldova Football Federation (MFF), Ministry of Education and British Embassy and will run for 2 weeks before and after the football game Moldova-England.

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