Report # 8, May 22
MOTOR ADAPTATION FOUNDATION
WORLD TOUR 2003-2012
EUROPEAN TOUR 2007May 3rd to July 11th
We have spent two nights at the École Centrale de Paris Residence, an institution of higher learning in engineering. The enrollment is made up of 75% local students and 25% foreigners. The school only selects 5% of the applicants at the admission tests. It is located on Sully Prudhomme Avenue a detail we mention only because we find the name charming.
Finally a sunny day on the France portion of our world tour. Back in Paris we spent the better part of the day at the Paris-X Nanterre University meeting with people involved in a sphere of activities similar to ours.
We were deeply touched by the reception given in our honor by the Board members of this 35000 students university. Claire Boursier, who had planned everything, introduced us to the Rector, M.Olivier Audeoud. He mentioned that our presence within these walls give his institution an international presence.
In addition to the opportunity of describing to various representatives the purpose of our trip, our deep feelings and the reasons motivating us, we have been able to plan future meetings and take advantage of some of the campus computer equipment.
We exchanged with people from Bordeaux, Lyon and the Paris surroundings. Many of our discussions concerned the APAs (Adapted Physical Activities), the training of specialists and the present tendencies of the services available in France. Even here, in order to put forward the fight against smoking, sedentariness, poor eating habits and various chronic diseases, the tendency to neglect efforts in providing more proactive prevention, education and development of the handicapped, seems to be chosen plan of action. It leaves aside those living with a handicap (15% of the population) at the benefits of other political interests as well as those of more conventional medicine related bodies. Its a 50 year backward step.
The situation is not different in Canada where the handicapped which are considered less productive, enjoys very little political influence. We observe the transfer of budgets towards the provision of better services to the population suffering from obesity, idleness, diabetes and other chronic diseases. The aspects of re-adaptation and the realization of ones full natural human potential are neglected. We are heading again towards the long standing paradigm of treating the symptoms at the expense of the causes and therefore ignoring the efforts related to the development of the rights of the handicapped in the cultural and physical activities at large. You will find more on this matter by consulting the first convention on the rights of the handicapped ratified this year. On one hand we have signed the convention and on the other we act against it by bringing up other priorities.
We also met with M. Hervé Brisson, a very active Lion Club member and Alain Siclis, Director of Federation Handisport de France. (www.handisport-iledefrance.org). Thomas, a member of Handicap International was also present and will collaborate to our planning of our South Africa, Vietnam as well as Madagascar tours.
Our guardian angel, Claire Boursier, went beyond her involvement in the more intellectual portion of our activities and solved also our equipment maintenance problem. She introduced Zacharie to us and he fine tuned our bikes to top condition, many thanks to Zac.
For those who are just joining us, our web site is: www.fam-canada.org
Visit it and you will learn more about us and our general objectives. You may wish to assist us by getting involved according to your possibilities, or by benevolent work or a donation or simply by promoting our activities through your own personal life style.
The group seeing beyond unites 70 people with 5 of them touring Europe presently. We mainly aim at helping people becoming aware of their full potential despite some apparent limitations.
The team Seeing Beyond.