The freedom to live a dream
It was a great honor for me to be awarded the international Paul Harris Fellow award, the highest honor of Rotarians. Having received it in one of the most beautiful places in the world, the scenic coastal park Località il Faro di Capo Vaticano, I had the feeling of being in a corner of paradise and this gave me great joy.
Rotary has a great and important tradition in the world and its aims are shared and important. I want to recall the fundamental contribution aimed at eradicating polio together with the World Health Organization and UNICEF: thanks to this commendable initiative in recent years the number of new polio cases has fallen by more than 99% compared to the 1980s. last when the disease affected over 350,000 children a year.
Making your skills, knowledge and work available to others defines a special lifestyle, open, welcoming, attentive to the difficulties and needs of the most diverse realities. It is important that realities such as Rotary, organized in historically deeply rooted structures, act in our society characterized too often, however, by indifference and very little attention to relationships with others. Therefore, being able to share my project becomes very important and significant precisely because organizations such as Rotary have a real interest and deep participation in the issues that I have been carrying, for several years, with determination and hope.
It is true that today disabilities, compared to the past, no longer represent such a definitive limit as to preclude the possibility of having a job, a house, a family, to travel and, why not, to dream even more. This is because scientific research and technological progress, applied to means of transport, the construction of buildings, prosthetic devices, pharmaceutical products have achieved extraordinary results, such as to allow important steps in the direction of autonomy. However, it remains equally true that there are still many barriers to be broken down: in addition to the architectural ones, explicit testimony of an inconceivable barbarism, it is important to achieve in our country the equalization of accidents in life with accidents at work for the protection of dignity of all people with disabilities.
It is essential that we understand how necessary and vital it is to provide support for families who find themselves looking after, often in desperate loneliness, a family member in difficulty and totally lacking in autonomy. We must be able to build a country where no one, ever, is left alone in pain and need. This is why it is urgent to intervene on the LEA, Essential Levels of Assistance, and on the Tariff Nomenclature so that the progress achieved by the research can contribute to restoring dignity and quality of life to all people with disabilities together with their families.
I have a dream, that people with disabilities will one day live in a society where they will be judged for the essence of their personality.