Executive Committee Members

John Coughlan

ICPS Chairman
Luxembourg

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Chairman of the International Cerebral Palsy Society (ICPS) since 2017.

Father of David, born 2006, who has cerebral palsy (spastic quadriplegia) and likes music and sport (especially boccia and rugby).

In professional life: Director of Communications at the Academy of European Law (ERA), a public foundation funded by the EU to provide training and a forum for discussion for practitioners of law from across Europe.

In civil society: President of the Parents’ Association of the European School Luxembourg 1; Chairman of the Pastoral Council of the Parish of Luxembourg Notre-Dame.

Born in Wales. Mother from Scotland. Father from Ireland. Wife from Portugal. Lives in Luxembourg. Works in Germany. European.

Matthieu Chatelin

ICPS Vice-Chair
France

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Board member of ICPS and CPECA

Matthieu, 30 years old, was born at 25 weeks. Due to his very premature birth, he has got a cerebral palsy with secondary deficiencies. Matthieu receives assistance from PA’s for the 24 hours care he requires.

Matthieu obtained two Masters of Arts in the fields of Human Rights and International relations, thanks to the studies he completed both at University College London and the American University of Paris. He lived in London for several years prior to coming back in France during 2015.

He is a strong advocate in terms of Disability Rights and Human Rights at the international level. Following a United Nations volunteering which he undertook at the European Arm of the Office of the UN High-Commissioner for Human Rights, Matthieu carries on with his duties as an elected official.

Since 2015, Matthieu sits at the Youth committee of the European Disability forum and since 2018 he equally serves as a delegate at the 4th European Parliament of persons with disabilities. Finally, he was associated with the creation of La Fondation Paralysie Cérébrale, a French Foundation dedicated to research into cerebral palsy and currently serves as the president of its donor’s network.

Joaquim Alvarelhao

Honorary Treasurer
Portugal

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After the graduation in Occupational Therapy (1989) I start working at Cerebral Palsy Association of Porto, in a new occupational centre for adults with Cerebral Palsy. Since then I have a special interest in the subjects concerned to adults with Cerebral Palsy and developed research and consultation closely to different rehabilitation services

Actual position
As Professional
Professor at Health Sciences School of Aveiro University

As Volunteer
Collaborator of the Cerebral Palsy Portuguese Federation
Collaborator of the Cerebral Palsy Association of Porto


Education
Master in Public Health at Faculty of Medicine of Porto University
Graduation in Occupational Therapy at Health Technologies School of Porto


Areas of interest Information systems and assistive technologies in Health Sciences and Rehabilitation
Organizations and Politics in Disability and Rehabilitation

Faik Benli

Turkey

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Faik works at Cerebral Palsy Turkey/Spastic Children Foundation of Turkey since 2016 as Deputy General Director of purpose oriented services. He is involved in the organization of international meetings, seminars and training courses in the field of cerebral palsy.

He’s graduated the University of Bosporus, in the department of History and He has MBA degree from Nişantaşı University. He is married and has a daughter.

Silvina Eckhardt

Buenos Aires, Argentina

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Mg. Silvina Eckhardt is President of the Fundación Plácido Obligado y Dolores Obligado de Obligado, a foundation dedicated to disability – specifically cerebral palsy – based in Buenos Aires, Argentina. The foundation has the mission of promoting equal opportunities for the participation of people with cerebral palsy, supporting scientific research, professional training and the development of legally constituted Institutions (NGO) that directly provide services that improve the quality of life and favor their social inclusion. With its headquarters in Buenos Aires, the foundation’s activities are carried out throughout Argentina and with an international scope.

Nonye Nweke

Nigeria

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Nonye Nweke is the founder and Executive Director of Cerebral Palsy Center (CpCenter) Nigeria. Founded in 2010, CpCenter is her response to the absence of specialized care facilities for children living with CP in Nigeria.

A disability advocate, her passion is on the improvement of quality of lives of children living with CP. Nonye holds a degree in Science Education and a diploma in journalism. Nonye also has a certificate in Social Sector Management from Enterprise Development Center (EDC) of Pan African University, Lagos. She is a mother to a child with CP whom she says lights up her life.

Eleni Roditi

Greece

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Eleni works at Cerebral Palsy Greece/Open Door since 1998 as Head of European Projects’ Department and she is involved in the organization of international meetings, seminars and training courses in the field of cerebral palsy. Since 2021 she is the Administrative Director.

She’s graduated the University of Northern Attica, in the department of Economics. She is married and has two children.

Fadia Safi

Lebanon

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I have a diploma in Social Service and a Master degree in Management.

I am married to Gebran Safi and have two daugthers Cynthia and Elise.

I am co-founder, president and general manager of SESOBEL.I work for Sesobel since1976, co- founder of social workers syndicate in Lebanon and member of its executive committee, member in the executive committee of UNAPIEI Lebanon: the National union of people and institutions for mentally handicap, also member of Rehabilitation International, in Mena region, honorary member of ''Les guides du Liban." (A scout mouvement for the girls)

At Sesobel we care for children and youth with disability since 1976, 450 children and youth benefit from our services. They have mental and/or a physical disability and autism. We have many partners around the world, who help us to develop our services and keep us always updated to know the best practices for our children.

ICPS is one of our partners and we collaborated together, through training sessions in Lebanon and abroad, and I consider that it is a great opportunity for us to be member of the ICPS board.

It gives us the possibility to know what is happening in the field of CP all over the world and may adapt our practices or share our knowledge with others.

Sincerely,

Fadia Safi

Mahshid Salehi

UAE

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Dr. Mahshid Salehi is the Director of the Dubai Center for Special Needs in Dubai United Arab Emirates.
Dubai center is one of the leading centers for people of determination within the UAE and middle East.

Dr. Mahshid studied child and family psychology in the United States of America and has over 38 years of international experience in increasingly responsible and demanding positions within the USA and UAE.

She has been at the forefront of raising the standards and advancing the development of children with special needs by unlocking their potential and creating a brighter tomorrow full of possibilities for them.

During her career, she has worked as a Child and Family Psychologist, university lecturer, researcher, educational consultant and Director of one of the leading Organization for Special needs within the Middle East.

She has been received the honor and Award as an Outstanding Director for special needs with in the Middle East, she has also been an honoree member of World-wide Genius Handicapped Organization (WWGHO). Earlier in her career she was nominated as Outstanding Young woman of America.

She served as member of the Scientific Committee for Second, Third and fourth. International Congress of Rehabilitation in the UAE.

Currently, she is an active executive Board Member of the European International Cerebral Palsy Society. She has been also an active Member of the American Psychological Association since 1990.

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