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尤尼斯·肯尼迪·施莱佛---改变了智障人士的世界

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小编摘要:施莱弗出生于1921年7月10日,在肯尼迪家族9位兄弟姐妹中排行第五。尽管长期以来,施莱弗一直生活在哥哥约翰肯尼迪的光环下,但她也有着另一个为世人所熟悉的身份——特奥会的创始人。

尤尼斯·肯尼迪·施莱佛(Eunice Kennedy Shriver,1921年7月10日—2009年8月11日),她是美国前总统约翰·肯尼迪的胞妹。肯尼迪的父母一共育有9个子女,其中长女即施莱佛女士的姐姐罗丝玛丽·肯尼迪,先天患有轻度智障并进行了脑手术。手术失败后,她的智障程度加深,生活不能自理,长期住在“特殊孩子”医院。1957年施莱佛女士接管了肯尼迪基金会,开始了为智力残疾人谋求公民权利的公益事业。1963年,施莱佛女士组织35名智力残疾人参加了在自家后花园举行的以体育运动为内容的历时3个星期的夏令营活动,她发现包括罗丝玛丽姐姐在内的所有智力残疾人得到了从未有过的喜悦。施莱佛女士因此深受感动和启发,将这一活动逐年扩大并延续下来。

  除此之外,她还同丈夫萨金特·施莱佛先生一起开设了一个专门照料低能儿童并组织他们参加日常体育活动的营地,在和其他志愿者共同地精心照料下,仅仅经过数个月的训练,许多智力残疾儿童在适应能力方面有了很大的进步,尤其在体育等方面显示的能力,远远超过了许多专家的预料。在参加特奥训练和生活中,智力残疾人体验到了平等参与社会活动的快乐,人们更是看到了智力残疾人身上蕴藏的潜力发挥出来,让社会认同,才能换来真正的尊重。“任何一种智障和残疾都有其特殊性,这并不注定要成为一种障碍,重要的是,应该注重于一个人能够做什么,而不是注重他不能够做什么。”在施莱佛女士看来对于智障人最可怕的往往不是他们自身的残疾,而是来自于正常人的偏见、冷漠和疏远。

  1968年7月,首届世界特奥运动会在美国芝加哥举行。“特奥会所展现的,是作为个体的人的本质———他们的精神、他们的勇气、他们的品行、他们的爱。”这是施莱佛女士对特奥会的阐述。







FAITH LAPIDUS: I'm Faith Lapidus.

BOB DOUGHTY: And I'm Bob Doughty with People in America in VOA Special English. Today we tell about Eunice Kennedy Shriver. She was a member of one of the most famous families in American politics. She used her influence to make a difference in the lives of millions of people. Though she never ran for office, she spent her life energetically working to improve the lives of people with developmental problems.

Eunice Shriver was best known for creating the Special Olympics, an athletic event for people with mental disabilities. Her efforts changed the way the world thinks about the mentally disabled.

EUNICE SHRIVER: "You are the stars and the world is watching you. By your presence, you send a message to every village, every city, every nation. A message of hope, a message of victory. The right to play on any playing field. You have earned it. The right to study in any school. You have earned it. The right to hold a job? You have earned it. The right to be anyone's neighbor. You have earned it."

FAITH LAPIDUS: That was Eunice Kennedy Shriver speaking at the nineteen eighty-seven Special Olympics games in South Bend, Indiana. She was a thin and energetic woman with a huge smile and great spirit.

Ms. Shriver officially became involved in helping people with developmental problems when she became the executive vice-president of a family organization in nineteen fifty-seven. The Joseph P. Kennedy Junior Foundation was created in nineteen forty-six to honor her oldest brother, who died fighting in World War Two.

Under her guidance, the foundation turned its attention to studying the causes of mental disabilities. It also sought to improve the way society treats people with such disabilities. The foundation also started centers for the study of medical ethics at Harvard University and Georgetown University.

BOB DOUGHTY: Eunice Shriver and her family had a personal reason to be interested in this issue. Her older sister, Rosemary Kennedy, was born mentally retarded. As Rosemary grew older, she became increasingly difficult to live with and supervise. When she was in her twenties, her father arranged for her to have an operation on her brain to improve her mental condition. But the operation left her completely disabled. Her family later sent her to a care center where she lived until her death in two thousand five.

FAITH LAPIDUS: In the past, mental disability was generally treated as a shameful and hopeless disease. Many families secretly sent their disabled children to grow up in institutions. And, there were almost no community activities, resources or jobs for the mentally disabled. They were shut away with little respect and few civil rights.

Eunice Shriver changed this. She showed the world that the mentally disabled could be useful citizens enjoying rich lives.

(MUSIC)

BOB DOUGHTY: Eunice Mary Kennedy was born in Brookline, Massachusetts in nineteen twenty-one. She was the fifth of nine children born to the Irish Catholic family of Joseph and Rose Kennedy. Her grandfather was John Fitzgerald who served as mayor of Boston, Massachusetts and as a lawmaker. Eunice's father was a wealthy businessman with powerful connections. The Kennedys raised their children to be highly intelligent and highly competitive.

FAITH LAPIDUS: Eunice Kennedy Shriver once said that her father's advice to his children was to win. He said that coming in second or third did not count, but one had to win, win, win. Mister Kennedy also told his friends that his sons would one day run for president. And, he was right.

John F. Kennedy became president in nineteen sixty-one and served until his murder two years later. Robert Kennedy, a senator, ran for president in nineteen sixty-eight and was killed that same year. Edward Kennedy never won the presidency, but became a long- serving and important member of the United States Senate.

BOB DOUGHTY: Eunice Shriver also carried on the family tradition of public service. She graduated in nineteen forty-three with a sociology degree from Stanford University in California. She worked for different organizations as a social worker before working for her family's foundation. Over the years, she also worked for the political campaigns of her brothers, John, Robert and Edward. In nineteen fifty-three, she married R. Sargent Shriver. They had five children: Robert, Maria, Timothy, Mark and Anthony.

(MUSIC)

FAITH LAPIDUS: Under the administration of John F. Kennedy, Eunice Shriver continued her work for her foundation. She influenced her brother to create a committee to study developmental disabilities. This effort led to the creation of the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development at the National Institutes of Health.

In nineteen sixty-two, Ms. Shriver published an important article in the Saturday Evening Post called "Hope for Retarded Children." She wrote openly about her sister Rosemary's condition. For years, this had been a closely guarded family secret.

Eunice Shriver used Rosemary as an example of how not to treat people with disabilities. Instead, she said people with mental disabilities needed to be treated as useful citizens and given special education and training. She said family members of disabled people had few resources for community support or medical help. She gave examples of parents who struggled to make a better life for their disabled children.

EUNICE KENNEDY SHRIVER: "Think of the families, think of the mothers who love their children but feel so desperately alone. Their children have done nothing wrong, committed no crime and perpetuated no injustice. They are the world's most innocent victims, and they suffer only because they are different."

BOB DOUGHTY: Ms. Shriver also opened a summer camp that was free of cost for mentally retarded children. The idea for it came when a mother told her that there were no summer camps where she could send her disabled child. So, Eunice Shriver did something about it.

She started Camp Shriver at her home in Maryland to give disabled children a fun summer program filled with physical activities. Non-disabled children were also welcome to join the camp. She made sure there were a large number of workers to give the necessary attention to all the kids. And, she asked students from private schools to volunteer at the camp as helpers. Ms. Shriver was directly involved in all parts of the camp. She would often swim and play ball with the children.

EUNICE KENNEDY SHRIVER: "Don't keep them away from something that can change their lives and give them a new vision and give their parents a new vision of them, just because they don't want someone in the community to say, 'oh, your child is special.'"

FAITH LAPIDUS: In nineteen sixty-eight, Eunice Shriver organized the first Special Olympics in Chicago, Illinois.

EUNICE KENNEDY SHRIVER: "In ancient Rome, the gladiators went into the arena with these words on their lips: let me win, but if I cannot win, let me be brave in the attempt. Today, all of you young athletes are in the arena. Many of you will win. But even more important, I know you will be brave and bring credit to your parents and to your country. Let us begin the Olympics, thank you."

FAITH LAPIDUS: About one thousand competitors from twenty-six states and Canada took part in the event. They competed in running, swimming and hockey. The idea of permitting mentally disabled people to compete in sports was revolutionary at the time. Before, people with special needs were often prevented from physical activity out of concern that they would hurt themselves or be unable to compete. Ms. Shriver said that the Special Olympics proved a very important fact: that exceptional children with mental retardation can be exceptional athletes.

Today, the Special Olympics has grown to include about three million athletes in more than one hundred fifty countries.

EUNICE KENNEDY SHRIVER: "Let us not forget that we have miles to go to overturn the prejudice and oppression facing the world's one hundred eighty million citizens with intellectual disabilities."

BOB DOUGHTY: Eunice Kennedy Shriver continued to work for the disabled in other ways. She created an organization called Community of Caring. It works to reduce teenage pregnancies and educate students about creating caring and respectful communities.

Ms. Shriver received many awards for herwork. These include the French Legion of Honor and the Presidential Medal ofFreedom, America's highest civilian honor.

 

Eunice Kennedy Shriver died in August oftwo thousand nine after a series of strokes. Her daughter's husband, CaliforniaGovernor Arnold Schwarzenegger, said that she was the light of the family. Andhe said her pioneering work for social and scientific improvements changed thelives of millions of developmentally disabled people all over the world.



标签:VOA special
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2011-08-21 22:21 编辑:pliny
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