London – GBR, September 04, 2012: The International Paralympic Committee (IPC) officially launched the Agitos Foundation on Tuesday (4 September), which will serve to lead the Paralympic Movement’s aim in making for a better world. The Foundation will act as the leading global organisation in developing sport activities for people with an impairment as a tool for changing lives and contributing to an inclusive society for all.
It will achieve its goals through four pillars: sports development, awareness and education, advocacy and inclusion, and knowledge and research.
IPC President Sir Philip Craven said: “Through developing sport opportunities, the Foundation aims to improve the life experiences of people with an impairment around the world, leaving a long-lasting mark on a more inclusive society.”
More than one billion people, nearly 15 per cent of the world’s population, have an impairment, and this number is increasing all the time due to conflicts, chronic diseases, insufficient medical services and age.
The World Health Organization estimates 80 per cent of the world’s population with an impairment live in developing countries, and just two to three per cent of children in this group have access to school.
Worryingly, more than 800 million people with a disability live in poverty, with 3.5 million of them refugees.
Even in developed countries people with a disability face multiple problems. Between 50 per cent and 70 per cent are unemployed because employers wrongly assume they are unable to work.
The Paralympic Movement and IPC have an exceptional track record for using sport to showcase on a global level what can be achieved by people with a disability.
Events such as the Paralympic Games, dating back to 1960, have proven to change perceptions of people with a disability and drive social inclusion. Time and time again Paralympic Sport has shown it can help individuals recognize their own potential and empower them to lead for change in society, helping promote equality.
The Foundation, which takes its name from the Paralympic Symbol (the Agitos) and comes from the Latin meaning “I move,” was created by the IPC to fulfill its strategic goal in terms in terms of development and education.
It acts as a catalyst supporting the implementation of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, through the impact of sport and physical activity. —- IPC