News Overview

All the news at a glance

Learning from the best: The Child & Family Foundation made it possible for 15 children to take part in the "Miha Zupan Basketball Camp for deaf children and adolescents"

Last week, the "Miha Zupan Basketball Camp for deaf children and adolescents" took place again for the third time. The CFF gave 15 children and adolescents an eventful week by enabling them to take part in the Camp, which they would otherwise not have been able to afford, due to financial difficulties.

It's a matter of believing in yourself

Whether on Facebook, Instagram, other social media networks or in calendars - they all have one thing in common: Self-help slogans that tell us that there is huge potential inside of each one of us, and if we just believe in ourselves, we can achieve anything. Numerous mentors want to empower us with this statement. If we find that so difficult, what must it be like for those who are born with an impairment, which results in low self-esteem, or feeling excluded from society? For example, people who can't hear?

Exceptional Athlete with a big heart

Thankfully, it's not always the case, that these people with impairments are excluded from society and made to feel inferior. One such person is an outstanding example of how, if you just go your own way, work hard for your success and believe in yourself, you can make all your dreams come true. Miha Zupan is one of the most successful Athletes in Slovenia and is well known in other countries too - even though his choice of sport isn't particularly popular in Europe, making it even more difficult to make a career out of being an Athlete. Miha Zupan is a professional Basketball player. That in itself is an amazing achievement, but: Miha Zuapn was born deaf. However, he still plays in the highest European Leagues as though his impairment doesn't make him different from the rest of the world.

Unfortunately, not all children and adolescents with impairments have this kind of self confidence and often stay on the edge of society. Miha Zupan made it his mission to give these children and adolescents the strength to open themselves up to the hearing world, to motivate them not to be deterred, and to realise their dreams. To make this possible, he launched an international Basketball Camp for deaf children and adolescents. As a deaf, exceptional Athlete, he understands the world these children live in. With his life stories and his healthy lifestyle, he is the perfect role model for the Camp.

Cross-Cultural and Communication

60 children from 5 nations - and it's as quiet as a mouse! If you didn't see the children's laughing faces, you would believe the silence to mean that they don't understand one another, due to the different cultures and languages. But the real reason is something quite different: they chat without a sound - but even sign languages differ. Just like in the hearing world, every country has it's own version of sign language. This makes the Camp, with 60 children from Sweden, Slovenia, Spain, Italy, Israel and Turkey, more difficult - and it requires a translator for each language. But that's all part of this week: to integrate into other cultures. These days, cross-cultural competences are ever more important and create more tolerance and empathy, as well as many new friendships. As well as all the various country-specific versions of sign language, there is also an international version. To ensure that the young adults can quickly communicate with each other without a translator, and to enable them to cross any border after the Camp, learning international sign language is also part of the programme during the week at Camp.

A full programme for the week

As well as workshops for cultural exchange and learning sign language, sport also plays a big part: in the middle of the Kranjska Gora mountains the children can learn from the best. Miha Zupan and his Team lovingly care for the budding athletes. For 90 minutes, twice a day, the kids dribble, run, throw, analyse and juggle the balls.
The kids have already won over their first fans: On Wednesday, as well as the press, the whole Child and Family Foundation Team and the Managing Director from Lyoness Slovenia, Mateja Lesjak, were also at the Camp. The Confidential Clerk, Martin Kristan and 25 of his Marketers were also there to watch the training and cheer the kids on. Everyone was very impressed with amount of effort the kids put into the game.

For a welcome cool-off and a lot of fun after the sweat-inducing training, they went to nearby Badesee. There was no end of fun during the week. Whether it was the creative activities, such as painting, or the outdoor action, or the pyjama party - the kids faces were lit up. The absolute highlight of the week, was the hilarious visit from the deaf comedian, John Smith, who was on tour in Slovenia. The English stand-up comedian is a European must-see.

Those who are given an opportunity, can take advantage of it

The Child & Family Foundation made it possible for 15 children and adolescents, who are normally unable to take part in such leisure and training activities due to financial difficulties, to take part in the Camp. The Camp was an exciting experience, that the kids are sure to remember for a long time.

We would like to say a hugh thank you to Miha Zupan and his Team, as well as all the energetic volunteers from Lyoness Slovenia: Bojan Mord, Klemen Javornik, Peter Potocnik, Tanja Potocnik Hoenigsman, Sergeja Mord and Matic Makuc.

We wish all the participants a path in life filled with happiness, joy and other people, hearing or deaf, who will catch them when they fall and share their laughter and their tears. The most important things are not always visible - and who knows; in a few years we could be reading or hearing about another success story from one or more of these kids.