The Teletón Foundation was born in Chile in 1978. This project was originated by Mario Kreutzberger (Don Francisco) as a television marathon aimed at raising funds for the Children with Disabilities Aid Society, which would later become the Teletón Foundation.
The success achieved by Teletón Chile has been a model for other countries. Thirteen nations from Latin America and the Caribbean have joined the work for children and teenagers with disabilities, emulating the virtues of the Chilean campaigns.
The advice and ongoing support by Teletón Chile to organize and develop childhood rehabilitation institutes, prompted Mario Kreitzberger to bring the countries from the continent together in a new International Telethons Organization (ORITEL). Integrated by Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, the United States, Guatemala, Honduras, Mexico, Nicaragua, Paraguay, Peru, Puerto Rico and Uruguay, its specific objectives are to exchange knowledge and medical experience in the rehabilitation field, to implement new ways of dealing with pathologies and to develop technological advances in prosthesis, devices and machines that could improve the rehabilitation processes.
Likewise, the countries have met in order to boost each other’s campaigns, with the purpose of achieving a big cultural change that will gradually integrate people with disabilities in the future life of the continent.
Oritel’s objectives are:
- To promote a greater awareness of people with disabilities and their problems in the region.
- To promote international solidarity towards people with disabilities.
- To coordinate the efforts of different Latin American rehabilitation entities in order to facilitate the efficient development of human, material or technological resources.
- To contribute to the autonomy and independence of people with disabilities.
- To promote the enactment of legal norms aimed at eliminating all forms of discrimination and exclusion, promoting social integration.
To promote the adoption of measures for the social integration of people with disabilities.