From Bristol to New York in just under two years. . . that’s all the time it took for Flamingo Chicks to become a powerful and influential community of 1200 children. Flamingo Chicks is an inclusive group dedicated to allowing children with disabilities and illness the opportunity to enjoy ballet classes alongside their friends. The children explore movement and develop key skills while parents and carers benefit from a vital, inspiring peer-to-peer support network.
According to a UN report, some 80% of people with disabilities live in poverty, and here in the UK, an estimated 170 disability hate crimes happen every day in the UK (source: mencap). 38% of parents of disabled children said their child rarely or never had the opportunity to socialise and mix with children who aren’t disabled, and Flamingo Chicks is breaking those boundaries. It is so much more than a ballet school. It is a growing movement of people wanting changes to be made in the way our society, including our how global society treats disabled children.
The latest news from Flamingo Chicks is an invitation to speak during the 2016 JCI Global Partnership Summit at the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, USA this July. A group of Flamingo Chicks’ Agents of Change – some of the children and young people behind this incredible movement – will be giving a talk on Peace is Possible.
With each child taking a turn, the group will do a short speech or sign together, followed by a video performance featuring the Flamingo Chicks across the UK and also their fantastic outreach projects in Ghana and refugee camps in Greece. Additionally, the group has been learning about the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals and will reference them in their speech.
“We are excited to welcome the inspiring Flamingo Chicks to participate during this year’s summit. The work they have accomplished to create an inclusive society for children is an impressive example of how young people are establishing peace one creative step at a time,” said JCI Secretary General Arrey Obenson.
It is an incredible opportunity for Flamingo Chicks, but the cost of flights and accommodation for our Agents of Change and each of their carers stands in the way. Flamingo Chicks is appealing to anyone who may be able to help fund the trip. Katherine Sparkes – Founder of Flamingo Chicks – has asked for help:
“This is an amazing and unique opportunity for Flamingo Chicks. We need to raise approximately £15,000 to cover the cost of the trip, or gifts in kind, for example the flights or accommodation. Please help Flamingo Chicks demonstrate to the United Nations the physical, emotional, mental and social benefits of our inclusive community”.
The Flamingo Chicks’ Agents of Change are effectively a school council but they also represent the other dynamic and vibrant Flamingo Chicks and champion the CIC’s vision of an inclusive society. The Agents Of Change get opportunities other children can only dream of, such as the time they were invited to speak and sign at number 10 Downing Street in November 2015. They are supported at every stage through Flamingo Chicks, making all these wonderful experiences accessible to them, regardless of ability.
Prime Minister David Cameron said: “Flamingo Chicks knows that helping children to enjoy dance is about far more than physical benefits; it helps to build confidence, vital social and communication skills and self-esteem. Flamingo Chicks has inspired a team of volunteers to make sure that children are able to dance alongside their friends regardless of their disabilities.”
The invitation for Flamingo Chicks to attend the UN HQ in New York is part of the JCI Global Partnership Summit held at UNHQ. With delegates attending from over 100 countries, the children will have a global platform to share the Flamingo Chicks vision of a world where disabled children have the same opportunities as their peers.
Donate to help the Flamingo Chicks get to the UN at https://localgiving.org/appeal/unitednations/
www.flamingochicks.co.uk – Twitter @flamingochicks – www.facebook.com/flamingochicks