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Palestinian Paralympics gets boost from EU

June 14, 2010 11:28 A.M. (Updated: June 14, 2010 6:57 A.M.)
Bethlehem - Ma'an - Funded by the EU, Mercy Corps launched a two-year 650,000 US dollar capacity building program aimed at empowering young Palestinians with disabilities and improving their quality of life.

In partnership with the Palestinian Paralympics Committee, a statement said, programs will follow the research of the Sport for Development and Peace International Working Group, which says that sports improve the inclusion and well-being of the disabled by "changing what communities think and feel about disabilities and by changing what people with disabilities think and feel about themselves."

Funding will help sports clubs across Palestine re-open, following their closure during the Second Intifada and later, during the Israeli war on Gaza in 2008-2009.

"Sport clubs face funding difficulties compounded by the lack of fundraising and community mobilization skills," an EU statement said, noting that programs would provide "leadership training and regular sport practices for youth with disabilities," thus allowing sports centers to open for the access of all children.

Supported by some 60 representatives of government, disabled people’s organizations, and sport clubs, officials gathered in Ramallah to open the program.
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