Sports Camp for 30 Young People With Spina Bifida at Lago Maggiore, Italy
Project location: ITALY, Lago Maggiore
Project start date: June 2012 - Project end date: June 2012
Project number: 2012-019
Beneficiary: Associazione Spina Bifida Italia Onlus
The project provides assistance and support to teach sports to 30 Italian boys and girls suffering from Spina Bifida aged from 15 to 25.
The experience and skills developed by the participants will prove useful to acquire greater self-esteem by overcoming one's own limits and achieving sports results, consolidate one's own autonomy and live social inclusion experiences deriving from dialogue and socialization within a peer group and with the staff of experts and health workers.
During the Sports Camp week, 30 young people suffering from Spina Bifida from all over Italy will be hosted in an accessible hotel structure providing the opportunity to experience a period of leisure and learning in full safety. Moreover, the available sports facilities will enable the participants to try different types of sports and understand their limits, socialize with the other participants and the playworkers, sports instructors and health operators who can provide important suggestions regarding sports and autonomous life. Those operators are necessary to ensure the implementation of the activities proposed and guarantee the necessary assistance to young people suffering from Spina Bifida.
In addition to sports activities, during the Camp field trips will be organized at local level, in particular to the islands of Lake Maggiore, the Pombia safari park (NO) and the S. Caterina abbey in Leggiuno (VA).
During the holidays, all participants will be encouraged to become aware of their abilities through sports activities in order to strengthen their self-esteem and autonomy and foster their social inclusion. A number of experiences and interviews confirm the importance and positive repercussions of sports activities. Sports is a source of psychological and physical well-being, a means for self-realization and social inclusion; therefore, sports is playing an increasingly important role in the lives of people with disabilities as well of people without disabilities.
This project, which received a grant from the Nando Peretti Foundation, aims at:
• Developing greater self-esteem and self-confidence by overcoming one's own limits and achieving sports results.
• Consolidating individual autonomy.
• Living experiences of social inclusion deriving from dialogue and socialization within a peer group and with the technical and health staff.
• The possibility to develop effective growth and educational approaches.
• The awareness of one's own abilities and rights on the part of young people suffering from Spina Bifida.
• The possibility to strengthen one's own self-esteem and self-confidence and develop the awareness of that one can live an autonomous life, i.e. the prerequisites for the achievement of one's own objectives, not only in terms of sports but also within society and on the workplace..
• Lower social costs of Spina Bifida.
A.S.B.I. onlus is a no-profit association founded in 1988 by a group of parents of children and adults suffering from Spina Bifida, an incurable disease affecting the spine and backbone marrow; the organization was created following the suggestion of doctors who at the time worked at the Spina Bifida Centre of the Maggiore hospital in Parma (Italy).
A.S.B.I. onlus is the head of the National steering committee of Spina Bifida Associations (Coordinamento Nazionale delle Associazioni Spina Bifida), created in February 2009, following an initiative by the majority of local Spina Bifida associations, to develop a network and join their efforts and resources. The Steering Committee has already promoted many awareness-building initiatives, including the National Week of Spina Bifida. Over the years, A.S.B.I. onlus has become the contact organization of the Italian Network for the promotion of folic acid for the primary prevention of birth defects, co-ordinated by the Italian Higher Health Institute - ISS - through the National Centre for Rare Diseases (CNMR). Moreover, it collaborates with the Italian Food Research Institute - INRAN. It is a member of the national council on rare diseases established by Livia Turco, the Health Minister, in 2006, and of the Italian Federation to Overcome Disabilities (FISH). In addition, it has signed a memorandum of understanding with the Italia Paralympic Committee (CIP). A.S.B.I. onlus is a member of IFSBH - International Federation for Spina Bifida and Hydrocephalus.
The main activities conducted by A.S.B.I. onlus include:
• Information, guiding and counselling services addressing patients suffering from Spina Bifida and their families;
• Services for school and work inclusion to ensure better quality of life to patients suffering from Spina Bifida and their families;
• Organizing community and mutual support activities through sports, cultural and tourism initiatives;
• Representing the rights of patients suffering from Spina Bifida, in particular to make institutions more aware of their needs;
• Promoting awareness-building campaigns and organizing national or local events aimed at informing the public and doctors on Spina Bifida and the correct preventive procedures;
• Organizing refresher courses, meetings, conferences and congresses for specialists;
• Promoting research on the diagnose and treatment of Spina Bifida.