Photo: Julieta Venegas
Singer Julieta Venegas, television personality Luciana Sandoval and soccer star Diego Forlan are part of a campaign by UNICEF and the Special Olympics to promote the rights of disabled children in Latin America.
The initiative uses games to show “a world where what counts is not disabilities, but that all of us are capable of doing,” UNICEF’s regional office for Latin America and the Caribbean said in a statement.
Mexico’s Venegas and Uruguay’s Forlan are goodwill ambassadors for UNICEF. Sandoval, a Salvadoran, plays the same role for the Special Olympics.
Participation in sports can provide a path to inclusion for disabled youngsters, who are especially vulnerable to abuse, neglect and exploitation, Forlan said.
“All of us,” Venegas said, “have special abilities that, added together, can achieve a positive change for our society,” while Sandoval denounced discrimination against disabled people as “a form of oppression.”
One in every 20 children under 14 is coping with some kind of significant disability, according to UNICEF.