Down for life

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Soziales Eingliederung GNK Dinamo Zagreb

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By their late teenage years, individuals with Down syndrome vary widely in terms of their health, abilities and behaviour. This project attempts to cover this broad range of behaviour, success and challenge, recognising that most adults still do not have the opportunities yet, nor are expected to function effectively in the society. Aware of its important social role, GNK Dinamo formed a cooperation with Down 21, an organisation that is taking care of young adults with Down syndrome helping them to achieve their full potential in everyday life. That involves providing them with paid part-time jobs within our organisation and with our employees so they can be more involved in activities that are making them feel part of the community. Part-time jobs include gift packaging, production distribution, decorating of Christmas presents and helping out with stadium security. Our players personally recognised the importance of such integration and they are actively involved in creating many beautiful art performances from young people with Down syndrome by helping them promote their art in media and also helping them financially so they can have everything necessary for producing their dance shows and musicals. When people with Down syndrome are “being” they are “existing”; their basic human needs are being satisfied. To feel that they belong they have to be included in their community, with regards to education, employment, social, leisure and recreational opportunities. In order to “become”, people with Down syndrome need to be given the opportunity, and the support to recognise and fulfill their potential.

Main Objectives:

  • To raise awareness of disabled people in everyday life
  • To provide an opportunity and the support to recognise and fulfill potential of people with Down syndrome
  • To be an example and to develop a best practice template that can be followed by other similar sporting organisations in our country

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As one of the most recognisable brands of Croatia’s capital Zagreb and the club with the most fans in Croatia and among Croats all around the world, GNK Dinamo has always been more than just a football club. To the fans Dinamo is much more than football and sport in general so the club and the players feel great pride, but also carry enormous responsibility. Since the Republic of Croatia gained independence, and even earlier in the former countries, GNK Dinamo invested a lot of their energy and also funds in social responsibility programmes. By helping people in need, children with rare diseases, new-borns and many others, GNK Dinamo has become not only a synonym of excellent sport results and success but is also recognised as a caring club.