Enabling the disabled through sports in Laos
01 December 2006
Vientiane, Lao PDR: Millions of volunteers around the world are working to make a difference in the lives of people, and their efforts to change the world will be honoured on International Volunteers Day on December 5.
IVD will be celebrated in Vientiane with an action-packed sports day at Polytechnic College to raise community awareness of disabilities issues.
United Nations Secretary-General Kofi Annan, in his final IVD message, expressed his thanks to volunteers around the world for their vital contribution.
“In ways both big and small, volunteers are transforming their communities and our world,” Mr Annan said.
“And in this era of problems without passports – from HIV/AIDS and trafficking in people and contraband – they are providing grassroots solutions to humanity’s most pressing needs.
“Volunteerism is, of course, its own reward. But International Volunteer Day is an opportunity to remind all who seek selflessly to improve our world that their contributions are recognized.
“On my last IVD as Secretary-General, I express my sincere gratitude to all men and women who share their skills and talents with the world, and hope that many more will follow their example,” Mr Annan concluded.
The IVD sports event at Polytechnic College is aimed at giving disabled people a chance to try different sports and teach non-disabled people how to use wheelchairs and other equipment.
In turn, non-disabled people will get to experience competing on equal terms with disabled people and gain an insight into the realities of life as a disabled person.
Tournaments in wheelchair basketball and table tennis will be organized with prizes on offer for the winning teams.
The event will kick off with welcoming remarks from Setsuko Yamazaki, United Nationals Development Programme Deputy Resident Representative, at 8.30am followed by an announcement of the program, formation of teams and explanation of the rules with the tournaments starting at 9.15am and finishing at noon.
After prizes are distributed lunch will be served capping off a fun and rewarding day for all involved.
All volunteers, national and international, are welcome to participate, with disabled people from the National Rehabilitation Centre, The Lao Disabled People Association, Quest College, Digital Divide Data and ALS Chemex also taking part.