"J’ai pris le parti de le dire publiquement parce que j’espère de tout mon cœur que cela fera pencher la balance en notre faveur. Je suis père d’une enfant pas comme les autres."
Angiolino Giuseppe Pasquale "Lino" Ventura (1919-1987), the Italian actor who was voted 23rd in a poll for the 100 greatest Frenchmen, together with his wife Odette founded the charity Perce-Neige ("Snowdrop") in 1966, a few years after their daughter Linda was born with a mental disability (via). Having seen the lack of support for people with disabilities and the barriers they face, Lino and Odette were worried about what would happen with their daughter (born in 1958) once they were no longer there to take care of her. The charity first focused on providing financial support to create suitable facilities. Later, it created its own institutions (which are all referred to as "home"). It aims to provide support, care, and shelter for disabled people, to provide what both people with disabilities and their families need (via).
"As the father of a mentally disabled girl, he soon realized there was a lack of specialized institutions and made an appeal to the general public about the future of this section of the population. The French public’s generous response allowed him to open a pilot center, and thus the association was founded in 1966. Lino Ventura’s work didn’t stop when he passed away though. His grandson – Christophe Lasserre-Ventura – has been president of the association for more than 20 years. Just like disability itself, Perce-Neige is a family issue." (via)
Perce-Neige clips on YouTube (all in French):
::: Extraits de l'appel de Lino Ventura WATCH/LISTEN
::: J'ai le rôle! WATCH/LISTEN
::: On a tous un rôle à jouer WATCH/LISTEN
photographs of Lino Ventura via and via and via and via