Teleton: another way that Chileans help Chileans

In December of most years since 1978, the major Chilean television networks hold a 27-hour telethon, known locally as Teletón, to raise funds to help children with developmental disabilities (most commonly cerebral palsy) in Instituto de Rehabilitación Infantil ("Infant Rehabilitation Institute") centers. Teletón is broadcasted by most major television and radio stations. Since the telethon started, more than US$286 million has been raised (including a record of more than US$26 million in the 2007 event on November 30 - December 1, 2007), and 10 rehabilitation centers have been constructed in the cities of Arica, Iquique, Antofagasta, Coquimbo, Valparaíso, Santiago, Talca, Concepción, Temuco & Puerto Montt. In project there are 4 new centers in the cities of: Calama, Coihaique, Copiapó and Valdivia...

During the annual event, local and worldwide stars participate in live events around the country. Teletón has always been hosted by television personality Mario Kreutzberger, also known as Don Francisco. Each year, a poster child is elected to become the face of the charity. The poster child must be 4 to 7 years of age, born into a legally married family, able to pose for the cameras and available for large events.

Mario Kreutzberger “Don Francisco” and the poster girl during the Teleton helded on 2008.

In Chile, the telethon is an event of national unity and, proportionately, the most widely watched telethon in the world. In fact during March 2010 a special telethon called “Chile ayuda a Chile” (Chile helps Chile) was transmitted to raise money to help those affected by the 2010 Chile earthquake that struck the southern part of central Chile on 27 February of that year.[3] The aim was to raise $15,000,000,000 Chilean Pesos for the construction of 30 thousand emergency homes in the disaster area. In the end, that amount tripled, having been gathered over 46 billion Chilean pesos (90 million dollars).

This picture was taken after the earthquake in Chile, a man holding the Chilean flag, it was the most popular image that encouraged all the Chileans to reconstruct the country and help each other.

Shakira, the famous singer of “Waka Waka” (World´s Cup 2010) as many others artists supporting Telethon.

Every year there is a new goal according to all new kids that get in, centers requirements, special devices, etc. Incrediblely there was just one year the goal wasn`t achieved, the rest of the time has been actually very exceeded. This Saturday and part of Sunday Teleton will be held, the goal for this year is $16,589,850,127 chilean pesos, wich is €$25.863.600.

After 30 years, is possible to say Teleton is the most important charity work done for children with developmental disabilities, not just for work in their rehabilitation, but also for have produced a cultural change in the country supporting the dignity of people with disability and their rights.

Listen below the theme song of Teleton!

The chorus says "boom boom boom makes my heart when i help to the Teleton, boom boom boom with the whole heart, all Chile is on the Teleton"

For more information about Teleton and how to donate please click www.teleton.cl


I personally would like to thank Pia for the article! Pia, you are great for one more time! I want to apologize for not having been kept my word up to now, but I promise to start travelling
with your stories soon through Epilektika! Keep going-travelling-enjoying every moment of life!

Faithfully yours,