Thursday, June 24, 2010

This is Our School Now

At the Foyer D'Amour (House of Love) school, future campers and Special Olympics athletes welcomed us with smiles. They are so proud and excited to join a movement of pride and sports joy. When David Rosenthal, Special Olympics track and field star, spoke to them about how he was called names as a child but now has found his pride, they cheered. We all danced in celebration of the future.

Then I asked the parents what else we could do besides sport to help.

"Food" was one response. "My son is in school all day with no food."

The next asked for a brace. "My daughter cannot stand because her back is bad and she has no brace. How can she play?"

"Please a psychologist. My daughter--I don't even know why she's different. A psychologist could help."

I turned to Madame Legoute, the charismatic head of the school who has tried to rebuild after her simple buildings were destroyed in the quake. "Do you not have any of this? Psychologists? Braces? Food?"

"Not yet," she replied. "Not yet."

Those parents made it clear: if Special Olympics is a movement, we'll have to work hard to be true game changers in building community here. The Foyer D'Amour isn't just her school. Its our school now.

Any and all help welcome. Stay tuned for ways you can contribute and email Beth Alldridge at Special Olympics if you've got resources or want to be more involved.

No comments:

Post a Comment