martedì 27 settembre 2011

Equality is a right, perhaps, but no human power will convert it into a fact.

PROVINCIA di ROMA - Press Conference, September 26th 2011
From left: Stefano Testini, Salvatore Cimmino, Claudio Castellani, Marco Giunio De Santis.

It is the eve of a very challenging task, both on the level of climate and on the organizational one. Upcoming 30th September, thanks to John Kirwan’s involving enthusiasm and collaboration, and his marvelous sensitivity towards the topic of disabilities, I will flee to New Zealand. The journey is very long: in fact, I will take two days to get to Wellington, via London, Seoul and Auckland. There I will try to cross the Cook Strait, in highly uneasy sea conditions, as the water temperature, and the external one too, is unlikely to exceed 7 degrees Celsius.

I am trying to feel positive thinking about Canada last May where I found the same conditions: actually, swimming from Victoria, Fleming Beach, to Pedder Bay where Pearson College is, I felt cold to death! Yet, the memory I hold tightly in my heart goes back to those days and splendid people I met, supporting me in what I am about to face.

This stage comes in a very tough moment for international affairs: even the most developed countries worldwide are facing a financial and social crisis just as, or even greater, than the one in 1929.

As it was back then, nowadays the toughest consequences weigh upon society’s weakest people, as the crisis strikes elderly people, children, employees, and disabled people and their families. Welfare cut offs mean increasingly limited resources aimed at work, healthcare, and education. Unemployment in Italy has reached its highest peak, and among unemployed people 80% is represented by disabled people. Education cut offs have led to huge difficulties for guidance support and recovery in schools, leading to serious unease for disabled youngsters, in addition to the uneasy conditions of public healthcare.

Even in such crisis we continue to hope to trek along a road that leads to the independence of disabled people: only by working, we can fully play the role of citizens; only through employment we can discover new talents to build a better society; only by working, disabled people can support themselves and their families.

In these times of economic crisis, while social expenses are being cut in some countries, it is even more necessary to develop and implement programs concerning job placement.

In conclusion, including children, disabled youngsters in schools and in sports activities will surely help overcome mistrust and, inevitably, will contribute to growth including the values ​​of hospitality and solidarity.

By employing disabled people, they will have the possibility to participate as protagonists to our country’s life, and at the same time this will improve employment conditions.

Including us in society, pulling down physical and moral barriers, will certainly favor us, but will unfailingly benefit everyone, mothers, children, and elderly.

Best wishes,

Salvatore Cimmino

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