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Dec 29, 2010

An inspirational calendar for 2011 features art by special needs kids

Inspiration, that’s the theme for a 2011 calendar. It is not the usual commercial calendar that you get from the stores. Inspiration, instead profiles the artwork of twelve special needs children, six of whom also double up as athletes. It was launched today and the visiting chairman and CEO of Special Olympics says the almanac is a reminder that the differently-abled children also have hopes and dreams. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

Dr. Timothy Shriver, the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Special Olympics, is in Belize vacationing with his family. He was the guest of honor at a Special Olympics Belize press conference this morning, where he spoke passionately about their work with differently-abled children.

timothy shriver

Dr. Timothy Shriver, Chairman/CEO, Special Olympics

“The Special Olympics Movement is an invitation to get involved with those children, to have the chance to play with them if you wanna coach, if you have children of your own, you can bring your children to compete with children with special needs or what we call unified sports. But sports is a way to break down barriers and we hope that here in Belize, special Olympics Belize will be a movement that enables the country to break down stigma and remove prejudice and open the doors of opportunity.”

Today’s event was all about inspiration as a 2011 calendar, featuring artworks by special needs children, was launched. Its purpose is to provide some hope in these discouraging times.

Kim Simpliss Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children

kim simplis barrow

“During the summer, with the assistance of Care-Belize and Special Olympics Belize, we approached twelve differently able children from across the country and asked them to draw or paint something which inspires them. The resulting art work, beautifully captures not only their talent and creativity, but also their hopes and dreams.  The work that forms the 2011 Calendar, is thus a reminder that every child needs, wants and is fulfilled by the same things; love, family, friends and the opportunity to be accepted for who they are, not reject for what they are not.”

Dr. Timothy Shriver

“This calendar is entitled Inspiration and what’s wonderful about this calendar is that it reminds us that inspiration is not once a year, it’s not once a week, it’s not once a day; it’s every day, it’s every minute. So you open this calendar—and we look forward in our home to hanging this on the wall—so that every day we can be reminded that what we aspire to in Special Olympics is not an event, but a way of life.”

Dr. Shriver has been working with Special Olympics Belize, and the Special Envoy of Women and Children, Kim Simpliss Barrow, not only to inspire,  but also to advocate for the rights of children with disabilities.

Kim Simpliss Barrow

“For a child with disabilities, challenges are much more complicated; life lasting in fact. There are the constant medical issues, the mobility issues, the stigma and the discrimination. It is a constant battle for such a child to access even their basic rights to education, self determination, safety, earning a living and being a productive citizen.”

Dr. Timothy Shriver

“Sports is a place where you learn many lessons in life but you also learn to use your body to be physically active, to win, to try, to be challenged, to lose and understand what it’s going to take to try harder next time. You train in sports so you develop discipline and you learn. You try to shoot a basket or kick a football and you learn that you can get better, you learn that you can make progress. So sport in so many ways for our athletes, so many times they don’t necessarily have the means to speak their passions, to communicate in language, their spirit. Sport, with your body, you can say anything.”

The young artists were each gifted a copy of the calendar, signed by Dr. Shriver. And to his surprise, he and his wife also received special gifts. Delahnie Bain for News Five.

Shriver also visited the Stella Maris School on Princess Margaret Drive. And if you missed it, Shriver is the son of the now deceased Eunice Shriver, the sister of former US President John Kennedy. Timothy Shriver took over Special Olympics from his mother, the founder of the organization.

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2 Responses for “An inspirational calendar for 2011 features art by special needs kids”

  1. Proud Belizean says:

    Great job….helps to build children’s self esteem.

  2. diddy says:

    Ok..I follow Belize news regularly and it seems that whenever there is any local fundraising Simpliss is never named, involved or in attendance. But if there is any high profile trips to take or to entertain the famous…she’s always there posing for the cameras! No disrespect but lets get real …this woman screams fake attention seeker!!!! and another thing why didn’t they conduct the press conference at Stella Morris School so Dr. Shiver could see the deplorable condition that place is in. All just for show. I would want to congratulate the real workers behind Special Olympics in Belize!!! Keep up the hard work!. Shame on you Simpliss for using these children as a platform for attention and ladder climbing!

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