Making children with disabilities physically stronger: Victor’s story

 

Making children with disabilities physically stronger: Victor’s story

 

Victor Samuel is an 8 year old boy from the Cook Islands who has Cerebral Palsy. Victor has been involved with the OFC Just Play programme since February 2015 and when he first joined the programme he was unable to walk or stand unaided.

With Victor’s involvement in the Just Play programme along with the hard work and support of his teacher aide and community, Victor is now moving and walking around unaided.

Victor has suffered from cerebral palsy since birth and he was unable to walk or speak. Before joining the Just Play programme, Victor showed interest in sport but was usually forced to watch from the side-lines. Victor attends  Takitumu Primary School in the Matavera district on the beautiful island of Rarotonga, Cook Islands. There are no special schools for children with disabilities in the Cook Islands; instead children with disabilities are integrated into the main school system. Teacher Aides become their one on one support for their development in and outside the classroom ensuring regular participation. Katreena Mataio is Victor’s hard working teacher aide.

Katreena participated in a Just Play teacher’s training course in February 2015 and began delivering Just Play sessions in her school along with Victor’s class. Disability Inclusion is one of the objectives of the programme and children with and without disabilities are encouraged to play together and respect one another. Children with both physical and mental disabilities are encouraged to be involved.

Katreena was determined to make a positive difference to Victor’s life and attending the Just Play course gave her a different set of tools to help with Victor’s development, which was supported and encouraged by the Just Play team. To encourage Victor to move and be physically active the school community provided him with an adapted walking frame. It was not easy for Victor but with this he was more mobile and the change happened slowly and surely with the catalyst of a positive environment.

Victor has become physically stronger through the continuous hard work and of his teacher aide Katreena, who is fully supported and encouraged by his family, the school and the Just Play team. Activities are adapted so that children with disabilities can participate with their peers and enjoy all the sessions.

Victor is now walking unaided and prefers not to use his walking aide even though his legs get tired often; he is gaining his strength every day. Now in Grade 5, Victor thrives on his inclusion and continues to gain strength through all the help he receives. With the huge contribution from Katreena and support from the Just Play team Victor’s development both inside and outside the classroom has been enormous. The school has a very positive environment where Victor is widely accepted and is able to participate as much as possible

Victor walking without assistance after being involved with Just Play for over a year

 

Just Play extends reach in Fiji

The OFC Just Play Programme continues to grow and inspire in Fiji, with the Nasinu district preparing their launch of the programme following a Just Play course at Rishikul Primary School this week.

Fiji Just Play Project Manager Lavenia Yalovi was very proud to see the programme reach another district and is feeling confident about the rollout of the programme after working with the enthusiastic course participants.

“A total of 19 teachers and three volunteers from 10 schools and communities around Nasinu attended the two day Just Play course at Rishikul Primary school last week,” she said.

“All the participants were confident to promote healthy lifestyles, encourage social inclusion, encourage gender participation and set the right conditions for children to have a first positive experience in physical activity with just play.”

The Sport for Development programme was first launched in Fiji in 2010 and since then it has seen success in schools and communities throughout the country by training local teachers and volunteers and empowering them to lead the programme.

Further North in Fiji’s Cakaudrove Province, Losena Tituwere recently joined Just Play as a volunteer and after leading Just Play sessions in her village, Naboutini, Tituwere has become a strong advocate for the programme.

“I joined Just Play in April during the Savusavu Just Play Course because I love working with children. I work as a social welfare officer and when we would visit communities we normally focused our awareness on adults and had never used games before to deliver social messages to children,” she said.

“Before participating in the Just Play Programme I was a shy girl and usually afraid to talk to a crowd let alone a group of children. Just Play really changed my life, now I am confident to stand in front of a crowd.

“I feel great every time I am assigned to go to communities for work as I am able to speak in front of others and I’m also able to involve children in fun games and activities with messages related to my work scope as well.”

The OFC Just Play Programme was developed and implemented by the OFC Social Responsibility department alongside key partners the Australian Government, New Zealand Government, UEFA Foundation for Children, Football Federation Australia and UNICEF.

New ambassadors embrace #ENDviolence

Awareness of #ENDviolence continues to spread across the Pacific with another batch of young ambassadors joining in the campaign to put an end to gender-based violence in the Pacific.

Last night Football Federation Samoa welcomed each of the teams and officials participating in the OFC U-16 Women’s Championship to Taumeasina Island Resort in Apia for the #ENDviolence launch.

In collaboration with UNICEF, the Oceania Football Confederation has called on football role-models from across the region to become ambassadors for a campaign which aims to develop respect, understanding and tolerance among girls and boys, women and men, and the community as a whole.

Keynote speakers included Reverend Senetenari Autagavaia, UNICEF Pacific representative Tupe Aumua-Esera and FFS President Laupama Solomona.

Autagavaia said, as a former family court lawyer in New Zealand the campaign touches close to home which is why he was happy to endorse and support it.

Aumua-Esera said sports, like football, offer a unique platform through which critical information on #ENDviolence can be disseminated.

“Ending violence is against women and children with programmes like OFC Just Play and UNICEF is just one campaign reaching out to future sports stars like yourselves to help spread the message,” she told the young internationals before her.

Studies indicate that the physical, emotional and monetary costs of abuse are massive. Within the Pacific region, around 80 per cent of children have experienced some form of direct violence or abuse.
Evidence shows that 57 per cent of women in the South Pacific have been violently harmed by their partner, and that a girl who witnesses the abuse of her mother is more likely to become a victim of violence herself when she grows up.

In an area of the world where access to information is restricted by poor internet, television and radio penetration, the #ENDviolence campaign seeks to create awareness, create sporting champions who will speak up against violence and support broader community awareness towards women and children throughout the region.

Solomona encouraged the young women present to keep talking about this issue among their friends and family upon their return.

“With your help we can increase awareness of this important issue. which effects people just like you across the Pacific,” he said.

“And hopefully together we can make a difference and one day put an end violence against women and girls for good.”

https://www.oceaniafootball.com/new-ambassadors-embrace-endviolence/

Making children with disabilities physically stronger: Victor’s story

 

 

                                               

Victor Samuel is an 8 year old boy from the Cook Islands who has Cerebral Palsy. Victor has been involved with the OFC Just Play programme since February 2015 and when he first joined the programme he was unable to walk or stand unaided.

With Victor’s involvement in the Just Play programme along with the hard work and support of his teacher aide and community, Victor is now moving and walking around unaided.

Victor has suffered from cerebral palsy since birth and he was unable to walk or speak. Before joining the Just Play programme, Victor showed interest in sport but was usually forced to watch from the side-lines. Victor attends  Takitumu Primary School in the Matavera district on the beautiful island of Rarotonga, Cook Islands. There are no special schools for children with disabilities in the Cook Islands; instead children with disabilities are integrated into the main school system. Teacher Aides become their one on one support for their development in and outside the classroom ensuring regular participation. Katreena Mataio is Victor’s hard working teacher aide.

Katreena participated in a Just Play teacher’s training course in February 2015 and began delivering Just Play sessions in her school along with Victor’s class. Disability Inclusion is one of the objectives of the programme and children with and without disabilities are encouraged to play together and respect one another. Children with both physical and mental disabilities are encouraged to be involved.

Katreena was determined to make a positive difference to Victor’s life and attending the Just Play course gave her a different set of tools to help with Victor’s development, which was supported and encouraged by the Just Play team. To encourage Victor to move and be physically active the school community provided him with an adapted walking frame. It was not easy for Victor but with this he was more mobile and the change happened slowly and surely with the catalyst of a positive environment.

Victor has become physically stronger through the continuous hard work and of his teacher aide Katreena, who is fully supported and encouraged by his family, the school and the Just Play team. Activities are adapted so that children with disabilities can participate with their peers and enjoy all the sessions.

Victor is now walking unaided and prefers not to use his walking aide even though his legs get tired often; he is gaining his strength every day. Now in Grade 5, Victor thrives on his inclusion and continues to gain strength through all the help he receives. With the huge contribution from Katreena and support from the Just Play team Victor’s development both inside and outside the classroom has been enormous. The school has a very positive environment where Victor is widely accepted and is able to participate as much as possible

 

Victor walking without assistance after being involved with Just Play for over a year