Autism ribbons presented to miner Jose Henriquez
Autism Ribbons presented to Chilean Miner Jose Henriquez and Sebastian Piñera’s Chaplain Alf Cooper
Jose Henriquez, the 24th miner to be rescued from the San Jose mine, received his first ever autism awareness ribbon on his current tour of the United Kingdom, to mark Autism Sunday 2011. An autism awareness ribbon was also presented to Reverend Alf Cooper, Chaplain to Chilean President Sebastian Piñera by Ivan Corea, Founder of Autism Sunday – The International Day of Prayer for Autism and Asperger’s Syndrome.
Jose Henriquez and Reverend Alf Cooper were addressing over 600 people at All Saint’s Church in Woodford Wells in Essex. Jose Henriquez talked about his experiences in the mine and his deep and abiding faith that God will rescue the 33 miners. He expected a miracle and received it.
Ivan Corea said: ‘I was deeply moved to hear Jose Henriquez. His story is a wonderful story of survival and it was truly inspirational – there are times when even we feel we are deep down in a mine, autism is a 24 hour job, but there is always hope .Jose Henriquez is a man of God. I was glad to have met Jose Henriquez and his charming wife and the charismatic Reverend Alf Cooperand present them with autism awareness ribbons to mark Autism Sunday 2011- which falls on 13th February this year. I hope that President Sebastian Piñera will release a message of support on Autism Sunday and celebrate the lives of all people with autism in Chile. These children and adults who are on the autism spectrum are very special, I thank God for my son Charin, he has inspired me to get up and campaign for autism.’
British parents and carers Ivan and Charika Corea launched Autism Sunday in 2002 with a historic service at St.Paul’s Cathedral in London. The inspiration behind the autism campaign is their teenage son Charin Corea who is on the autism spectrum. A small acorn of an idea hatched in their front room has turned into a massive international event celebrated in many countries. Ivan Corea has urged cathedrals and churches of all denominations in Chile to observe Autism Sunday on 13th February.
British Prime Minister David Cameron personally supports Autism Sunday. David Cameron said: ‘I would like to express my support for Autism Sunday. As many as one in a hundred people could be affected by some form of autism, and it is important that we recognise and raise awareness of the difficulties and challenges that they can face.’
There are over 67 million people with autism around the world. People all over the world are using Autism Sunday as a platform to lobby and campaign on the serious issues surrounding autism, a neuro-developmental disorder. Autism campaigners around the world are also organising an Autism Sunday Twitter Storm on 13th February and the organisers have asked people in Chile to tweet and retweet on Autism Sunday and celebrate the lives of all people with autism.