Special Olympics-The Challenge
Independent Films, Teens, Sports, Social Responsibility Movies
As young athletes from around the world began competing in the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Athens, UNICEF Executive Director Anthony Lake joined family members and other supporters in cheering them on.
UNICEF is collaborating with partners like Special Olympics to promote equal opportunities for children with disabilities and help them reach their full potential.
SOUNDBITE (English) Anthony Lake, Executive Director, UNICEF:
“These kids, more than any other kids are stigmatized, they are excluded from schools, they are expelled from their families, they are vulnerable to trafficking of the most horrible kinds, they are denied the right to become productive members of their societies which is a loss to the societies as well as the kids. In so many different ways, these kids are not allowed the benefits of living to the rights that they have and deserve.”
The UNICEF chief was delighted to talk with some of the Special Olympics athletes.
Fifteen year old Sijida Khatun, who represents India at volleyball, is from a poor family in Calcutta. Like many children with intellectual disabilities, she was institutionalized at a young age
Together with other supporters and fans, including Chinese basketball superstar Yao Ming, Lake enjoyed a tour of the Special Olympics healthy athletes program. The program has provided more than one million Special Olympics athletes with free health screenings and education since it started about 10 years ago.
SOUNDBITE (English) Darcie Mesereau, Vice President, Health Programs, Special Olympics International:
“We know that even though these athletes are travelling from all over the world to compete on the world stage, that many of them will come to these games with significant health problems.”
At a special ceremony UNICEF and Special Olympics pledged to strengthen their global partnership, together they committed to challenging negative attitudes about children with intellectual disabilities, and changing laws and policies that deny them access to health, education and other social services.
SOUNDBITE (English) Timothy P. Shriver, Chairman and CEO of Special Olympics:
“Today our commitment is that we will sign an agreement but we will sign an agreement with a voracious and relentless determination to make action out of the agreement. And we will have no satisfaction if in one year, or two years or three years we put this agreement on our walls and have nothing to show for it.”
And at Special Olympics Games every athlete’s performance is a powerful reminder that all children have the right to be included as full and equal members of society.
Year of Production: 2011
Length: 2:30 mins.
Country: United Nations
Special Olympics-The Challenge by DiplomaticallyIncorrect is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution Share Alike 3.0 License.
- Muhamed Sacirbey (UNTV-UNICEF)
- Susan Sacirbey (UNTV-UNICEF)