Emma MarathonIf you want to run, run a mile. If you want a challenge, run a marathon, if you want to make a difference in someone’s life, run for Inspire – The Foundation for Inclusion.

Running or walking a marathon is no easy task. Even the half marathon is a grueling feat and certainly not for the faint hearted, but over the past few years, especially with the introduction of the walkathon, Malta has seen the number of marathon participants increase year on year. Because of the exhausting and punishing distance that runners and walkers are to cover, many confront this challenge in aid of a cause that they believe in.

“People with disabilities face challenges all their lives,” explains Emma McEwen
whose son is on the Autism Spectrum who also attends a specialised programme at
inspire that helps him fulfill his potential. “Running or even walking a marathon is
hard work. The training is tiring and the distance is incredible, but when compared
to the lifetime of hardships and challenges that people with disabilities have to face,
the suffering is incomparable. To my mind fundraising for such a good cause is the
least we can do and I encourage everyone to lend a helping hand in whichever way
they can.”

This year, inspire, has once again been chosen as the official charity of the Vodafone
Malta Marathon.

Inspire is an NGO whose mission is to make a positive difference in the lives of
persons with disabilities in Malta and Gozo. On the day of the marathon lots of
generous inspire volunteers together with clients who attend inspire’s programmes,
lend a handing hand towards the organization of the Malta Marathon by manning
water stations.

As the official charity of the Malta Marathon inspire gets a donation of 50c from
every runner’s and walker’s registration fee, however runners and walkers usually
opt to fundraise more money in order to further help inspire provide 1000s of
children and families with free or highly subsidized services.

This year, well-known singer Gianluca Bezzina together with parents, employees and
friends of inspire will be running with the inspire team.

“inspire requires almost €3 million every year to keep offering the services it does
today,” explained Nathan Farrugia, inspire’s CEO and avid marathon runner himself
who regularly utilizes sport events as a platform to raise funds and awareness.

“We depend on voluntary giving, volunteering and social enterprise to continue to
provide support to those in need, and to make a difference in the lives of the people
we help.”

inspire uses its funds to offer therapy, education, and leisure services to people with
disabilities for free or heavily subsidized. Last year alone, inspire provided 55,000
hours of educational sessions, 15,300 hours of therapeutic sessions, 5,400 multisensory
therapy sessions, and 4,200 therapeutic horse riding sessions.

inspire also continues to fight for the rights of people with disabilities, shifting the
model from a paternalistic one to a human rights approach, in line with the UN
Convention on rights of persons with a disability. This requires equal opportunities
for all, and equal access of services to persons. Ultimately inspire aims at alleviate
the pressure on public social services where possible, empowering individuals to
reach their fullest potential. “We do this by improving inclusion in schools and
support children with the best professional expertise and innovative methods,”
added Nathan Farrugia. “This allows them to remain, where it is in their interest, in
mainstream education and in lifelong learning.”

HOW CAN YOU HELP?Emma Marathon
By running or walking with the inspire Team.
By volunteering your time during the Malta Marathon to help out manning the water stations.
By making an SMS donation to these numbers:
€2.33 – 50617359
€4.66 – 50618080
€6.99 – 50618962
€11.65 – 50619215
By sharing these numbers with your friends.

Whichever way you choose to help, on behalf of inspire’s clients and their families,
thank you.