Story of funder Nora J. Lelczuk Goldfinger
“For more than 40 years I have been playing golf and generally involved in the sport. I love playing this sport. Golf has been a major part of my life, and ever since my daughters were born it became part of their lives too. Since my second daughter, Vani, was born, I dedicated myself to the project of inclusion, since she was born with Down Syndrome. I feel that most young people, when they witness the efforts of those with special needs, want to encourage them to achieve the same goals as them. At the same time, these kids co-exist and stimulate each other naturally, which prepares them to live in our society together.
Something I was worried about was what could Vani do in her free time and what sport would be best for her. I thought about the sport I played, golf. We started practicing it together and discovered that golf is very effective at including and incorporating people with special needs, since each individual plays according to his/her own pace and skill level. The biggest challenge of the game is being victorious over the course and yourself. Besides the fact that golf is an individual sport, it is played four at a time, so it transforms into a group sport. However, there is no competition between the participants and no hard feelings, because they are playing against the golf course not each other. In this way, people with special needs and “regular” people can play together, and during the game an organic interaction is created. Different types of people are able to play together and are given the opportunity to get to know the person behind the disability. In this case, golf operates as a mind opener where everyone learns that “more than a mirror, is a friend,” as the Heme Aqui friendship song explains.
In 1999, Heme Aqui, the first school of golf for people with special needs was created, based on the Goldfinger method that was especially designed for the school. Today, the school has grown and turned into Heme Aqui Golf therapy, offering education and inclusion through golf.
Our entire family is involved in the Heme Aqui project: Luis, Evelyn, Vanina and Melisa. Their commitment, progress and faith in inclusion and education as indispensable tools for gaining acceptance into society, is all based on the belief that the real path towards integration is through respecting all individuals, including yourself. Only from the place of Me and You can we form a “We”. (Nora Lelczuk)
Heme Aquí is an organization that uses Golf Therapy to improve the quality of life for people with special needs. This institution has 16 years of experience and amazing results to show for it. We use a unique methodology that involves educational songs, specially designed exercises, games, and, most importantly, is really fun! Heme Aqui has shown that a fairer and more inclusive society is possible. Melisa, our Executive Coordinator, has just created the newest Heme Aquí program, Golf-In, which aims to teach the Heme Aqui methodology indoors.