New initiative launched to help children with disabilities

: Aidan Leavy (Plan International), Ellen Keane, Diana Bunici, Catherine Carty (UNESCO Chair), Katharina Schlueter (UNESCO Chair)

A new initiative has been launched in Dublin by Plan International and UNESCO Chair IT Tralee to help children with disabilities to join in everyday activities including playing sport.

Ireland's youngest ever Paralympic athlete Ellen Keane helped launch the initiative which aims to help normalise disability and improve education for disabled children around the world.

Ms Keane said she was very proud to support the initiative: "For young people with disabilities, especially in the developing world, it is important to bring children together of all abilities.

"Children can often feel isolated, marginalised and excluded, but sport can remove those barriers.

"All young people should realise their very basic right to be included in the lives of their communities.”

UNESCO Chair Manager at IT Tralee Catherine Carty said:

Sport is underutilized as a tool for improving education for children.

"This programme makes a deliberate effort to ensure inclusion, as without a conscious effort, inclusion of children with disabilities will not be achieved.”

The initiative has previously been implemented in several countries including Ethiopia, Guinea, Uganda, Togo, Jordan and Pakistan.

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