Zhang Haidi, president of Rehabilitation International (RI) and chairperson of the China Disabled Persons’ Federation (CDPF), presided over virtual meetings for the Executive Committee of RI and the Governing Assembly of RI members on Dec. 2, 2022.
Zhang started her speech by sharing the new progress in the cause of people with disabilities in China. She proposed setting up majors in accessibility design and sports rehabilitation at the University of Rehabilitation Sciences in China and planning a class in rehabilitation for students from Belt and Road countries. Beautiful Crafts Workshop, a program launched by the CDPF, has so far provided jobs for 10,000 women with disabilities across the country.
Zhang pointed out that RI has cooperated with the International Network for Bamboo and Rattan (INBAR), the UN Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (UNESCAP) and the Institut Supérieur de Rééducation Psychomotrice (ISRP) to unlock more possibilities for people with disabilities to live a better life. During the pandemic, RI has been working hard to contribute to the well-being of people with disabilities all over the world.
Zhang said that this Governing Assembly represents a milestone connecting the past and future, since this year marks the 100th anniversary of RI. Over the past 100 years, RI has been relentlessly striving for human health, integrity of life and the rights of people with disabilities, transcending nation, race and ideology.
The RI Centennial Celebration will be held in May 2023 in Beijing, according to Zhang. She invited members and VIPs to attend the celebration in person, adding that every effort will be made to increase the scale and level of the event, thus increasing the visibility of RI around the world. She also said that various RI celebration activities were held in regions including Europe, North America, Asia-Pacific and the Arab world, which has undoubtedly produced a positive impact and created a good atmosphere for the Centennial Celebration.
Zhang said that the RI Centennial Award for Outstanding Contribution will be awarded at a grand awards ceremony during the Centennial Celebration. Around 100 people and organizations from around the world who have made significant contributions to boosting equality, participation and the inclusive development of people with disabilities will be commended.
Zhang offered her congratulations to the newly elected executive members who have injected fresh blood into RI, and expressed her expectations for cooperating with the energetic, enthusiastic and capable team to bring RI’s work to a higher level.
Delegates from Asia, Europe, North America, South America and Africa, spoke highly of RI’s achievements in recent years, and said they will work together to promote RI’s development in the future.