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Exposição 'Um Gosto português. O uso do Azulejo no século XVII'
Exposição 'Um Gosto português. O uso do Azulejo no século XVII'
Museu do Azulejo, Lisboa, 3 de Julho de 2012 see more: Exposição 'Um Gosto português. O uso do Azulejo no século XVII'


Mrs Maria Cavaco Silva Speeches

See the Pictures | SPEECHES

25º aniversário da CEDEMA (9)

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Speech delivered by Mrs. Maria Cavaco Silva in the Closing Ceremonies of the 25th Anniversary of CEDEMA “Festival of the Senses”
Malaposta Cultural Centre, Odivelas, 16 February 2007
“I wash, refresh, clean my senses.
They play, excited, shaken,
my touch, my sight, my hearing, my taste, my smell!”
Cesário Verde, “Cristalizações”

With the “Festival of the Senses” we are closing today the Commemorations of the 25th Anniversary of CEDEMA.

I would firstly want to say how pleased I am that the contract between CEDEMA and MALAPOSTA was signed today.

This is particularly dear to me, because it unites interactively two key concerns which have accompanied and pursued me all my life: art and its several expressions and the ever greater requirement to reach those who need us, effectively but without affectations.

CEDEMA and MALAPOSTA reached a timely understanding that joining good will and energies always reaches much further.

And in our times we are required to reach much further every day.

The five senses referred in Cesário Verde’s so original verse, with which I started to mark my presence here and my interest in your project, are no longer five...

As time goes by, the senses of men and of things seem to be multiplied into the infinity of capacities which we keep discovering.

And it is precisely these rare human beings which are with us here today that, paradoxically, aid us in the discovery of that multiplicity of senses, which we didn’t even know existed.

There was a time when all such people suffering from one or another malady which could not be diagnosed or understood, were considered with “limited ability”.

Nowadays we know that for every door that closes, several windows open, and fortunately, we want and have the means to find them.

In my many visits to associations that are dedicated to and concerned over our different citizens, I have learnt so much about the human capacity to overtake limitations, which a few years ago were considered unsurpassable barriers, that I now feel great optimism.

The passage of time, which allowed us to discover that after all everybody has more senses than the traditional five, gave us much happiness and one concern.

The happiness of having them amongst us for a longer time.

The concern, that all who are here feel so deeply, that the life of the parents who care is now shorter than that of the offspring who are taken care of.

And we don’t want them to miss anything essential. The capacity to develop their own autonomies, the affection, the feel of being included in a world where there is a role for them.

Throughout this year when, as the President’s wife, I have been asked to visit many institutions which are dedicated to the protection of our special citizens, I understood that this was the concern to which I wanted to give greater attention.

Because I believe it is the most difficult. Because I feel it is terribly urgent. Time neither stops nor does it wait for us.

All the fathers and mothers here today understand my meaning.

And they have an urgent project, because it is a project of fighting against time.

Parents grow old and terribly afraid they will be unable to find people to substitute them in the care of their special and different offspring.

Who have capacities, as other human beings have.

And who are precious, as other human beings are precious.

But they do not have the capacity to deal with the day-to-day life. Things which to us seem simple and routine can be a difficult puzzle for them.

They are able to sing, paint, care for flowers and gardens, they are affected by music and the theatre. But some may have a little trouble in dealing with pots and pans.

In short, they need a Roof to shelter and protect them so that they can be happy.

And that their parents may live without having to permanently ask themselves in anguish: “And later on, what is going to happen?”

The best full stop in the celebration of CEDEMA’s 25 years – such a long time and so much already done – is everybody’s understanding this new challenge that is faced by today’s society.

I can only ask you, with emotion but trusting:

“Please, let us all place a tile on this Roof!”

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