Vision of Independent Living Comes Alive on the 3rd European Independent Living Day (May 2016)
Brussels, 5 May - More than 30 organisations of disabled people across Europe and many individuals are joining the European Network on Independent Living (ENIL) today in marking the 3rd European Independent Living Day.
The European Independent Living Day, celebrated on 5 May, is an annual event to raise awareness about the right to Independent Living and its importance for disabled people. Launched by ENIL in 2014, it is attracting more supporters each year. John Evans, one of the pioneers of Independent Living in the United Kingdom best highlighted the importance of the European Independent Living Day by stating: "Independent Living has transformed the lives of disabled people for the better. We need to be steadfast in the years of austerity to keep our vision alive."
To celebrate this vision of Independent Living for All, and to draw attention to the threats to Independent Living, activists from across Europe are organising conferences and meetings (Portugal, UK, Serbia, Turkey), staging protests and street actions (Germany, Bulgaria, Ireland, Lithuania, Montenegro), launching comic strips and reports (Greece, Italy, France, Belarus), working with the media and organising online campaigns (Hungary, Armenia, Albania, Norway, Cyprus, Sweden).
In Malta, during the International Lazarite Congress held between the 29th of April to the 2nd of May 2016, one of the Conference themes of the Lazarite Congress was indeed how to ensure that Vulnerable Persons Worldwide are aided by our various jurisdictions in the 5 continents to enjoy independent living. The conference theme was a huge success due to the projection of more than 45 projects worldwide, all of them throughout the last 12 months, which practically and not theoretically aided and assisted vulnerable persons in achieving independent living.
Additionally, the same subject was discussed by means of a private courtesy meeting to HE The President of Malta, to the great satisfaction of the latter, who is locally well known for her life-long commitment to social welfare and aiding the vulnerable within society.
To further mark the day, ENIL has asked its members and friends to say what Independent Living means to them. "Living like everyone else", "Getting married", "Managing my own life like all other people", "Travelling all over the world", "Being a dad to my kids" were some of the answers posted on ENIL's Facebook campaign.
We wish you a happy European Independent Living Day - let us be Proud, Strong and Visible!