November 17, 2022 – 07:07
Today, during the Week for Handicapped Children, children with disabilities spoke with Minister Conny Helder (Long-term Care and Sports) about the theme of friendships and loneliness. 1 in 5 children with disabilities have no friends. This is evident from the shocking results of the Handicapped Children’s annual survey, which has just been handed over to the minister. Today, three children have given advice on how they think children with and without disabilities can connect more with each other. They also discussed how children with disabilities can be happier and less lonely. Minister Helder said she intends to include children with disabilities in political elections. In addition, next year Helder will be committed to inclusive play and life. Afterwards, Minister Conny Helder received a friendship board from Pauline (12 years old), after which they filled it in together. After all, a friendship booklet is still seen by children as a sign of friendship. Minister Helder also promises to come to the Mega Walking Marathon of the Handicapped Child Foundation in May 2023.
During the conversation with Minister Helder, led by Henk-Willem Laan (Director of Stichting het Gehandicapte Kind) and Rick Brink (former Minister for Disability Affairs), the children with disabilities Pauline, Hüseyin and Joël discussed the issue of the Minister. A selection of the children’s insights: ‘think in creative solutions’ and ‘make the topic open for discussion’. In addition, more money was requested for accessible playgrounds to make it possible to play together.
Child ambassador Joël (aged 11) indicated that he thinks it is important that there is more than one playground in every city that is adapted to children with and without disabilities. There are already quite a few playgrounds, but it is not enough. The playground is a place where all children meet and can learn from each other. Minister Helder indicated that she will first consider the availability of all playgrounds and play equipment. In addition, she would like to spend time with the children to learn more about this. Stichting het Gehandicapte Kind believes that if children come into contact with each other from an early age, the foundations are laid for an inclusive society.
About the Handicapped Children’s Foundation
A society where every child has friends and no disabled child has to play alone – that is the ideal for Stichting het Gehandicapte Kind. Most children learn to live with their disability. Their biggest handicap is that they cannot participate and therefore feel lonely. With the support of donors and volunteers, Stichting het Gehandicapte Kind helps make playgrounds, sports clubs and schools accessible. So children with and without disabilities meet each other, play together and make friends. With that goal: no child without friends. Handicapped Children’s Week coincides with the fund’s collection week. For more information, see: www.gehandicaptekind.nl