Grandson’s story and 13 kilometres of swimming to open a center for children with special needs

By Sorgena Leka – It happens that some challenges seem difficult in thought, without starting, and thus forgotten in a dusty corner. This is not the case of the young man in the soul, Ergin Borova, 51, from Struga who devoted two years of his life to preparing for a challenge that lasted only five hours but enough to make parents happy for a long time and children.

Borova lives and works in the Netherlands. He is the author and publicist in the field of organizational development, co-founder of an IT startup Peddy, an application for HRM (Human Resource Management) but none of these have anything to do with his swimming challenge.

Ergin Borova, Gazeta Si, 2 August 2021

To open a center for children with special needs, where he opened the foundation “Care for disabled kids”, Borova swam for 13 kilometers, from Ohrid to Struga.

He points to Gazetasi.al se the initial reason why he undertook this challenge is his disabled nephew and all the difficulties his parents face.

It was a challenge that cost him a lot of effort, fatigue, pain but in the end, thanks to a phone call with his nephew at a time when fatigue reached its limits, he managed to succeed, gaining the respect of all people and a very substantial money for his initiative.

– How did the whole idea of ‚Äč‚Äčopening a foundation come about?

His brother and wife have a sweet son, but with special needs and disabilities. I see year after year how much they sacrifice for the maintenance of the boy and all this process day by day is getting complicated. Partly simply because the boy is growing up and it is also the age of his parents. Talking to my brother I realized that there are many parents like them and so I came up with the idea that we need a center for children with special needs. This center would have a section for daily activities and a section for group accommodation under the supervision and assistance of professionals. Armendi has been for me the source of my inspiration for such a humane gesture. In the Netherlands we also have friends who have a boy with special needs in a complicated situation. A developed country like the Netherlands has solved this problem for parents. From them I learned how it is possible to collectively and professionally support parents with such children.

– Why exactly from Ohrid to Struga and why exactly such an activity?

I had a passion for swimming as a sport when I was a young boy in Struga and now swimming is almost one of the only sports for me that I can do without pain or injury to the body. As a resident of Struga, where I was born and raised, I had a challenge to swim this distance and so I decided to combine my personal challenge with the humanitarian challenge for two reasons. First to seek to raise civic awareness on the subject, a way to attract attention and second to raise funds for the foundation. Being an interesting challenge and because the Ohrid-Struga distance is quite challenging for a non-professional swimmer, I was confident that all this would help and so it turned out.

– What was the reaction of the people when you told them about the initiative?

The reaction of the majority was surprising. Somehow it was unbelievable that a 51-year-old could do this distance by swimming. At the same time it was also an inspiring gesture. My peers now see that age is just a number and that most of the challenges we face in life are faced.

– How long did it take and how was all the preparation both physically and mentally to swim for so many kilometers?

For the past two years I have been involved in the sport of swimming but not intense exercise just body maintenance. Due to Covid-19 the pools have been closed. From April of this year I started with an exercise program first in the outdoor pools and then in the open waters in the Netherlands.

– How was July 29, from the morning until the moment you arrived in Struga?

The night before July 29 I did not sleep at all. It was the emotions of the next day but also the “worry” and stress of whether I would cope. I got out of bed at 4:45 p.m. The whole support team was ready at 06:00 and we left in three cars to the port of Ohrid where we had the follower boat. At 06:47 I was fixed in the water and the challenge started which lasted 5 hours and 13 minutes. In the preparatory trainings I had done the distance 10 kilometers. Up to that distance I was familiar with the pain and symptoms. But after the 10th kilometer I had it very hard. In fact, it is also a psychological challenge that from that distance Struga looks beautiful but it takes a lot of work to get there. I arrived at the right place exactly at 12.00.

– How was July 29, from the morning until the moment you arrived in Struga?

The night before July 29 I did not sleep at all. It was the emotions of the next day but also the “worry” and stress of whether I would cope. I got out of bed at 4:45 p.m. The whole support team was ready at 06:00 and we left in three cars to the port of Ohrid where we had the follower boat. At 06:47 I was fixed in the water and the challenge started which lasted 5 hours and 13 minutes. In the preparatory trainings I had done the distance 10 kilometers. Up to that distance I was familiar with the pain and symptoms. But after the 10th kilometer I had it very hard. In fact, it is also a psychological challenge that from that distance Struga looks beautiful but it takes a lot of work to get there. I arrived at the right place exactly at 12.00.

Check the rest of the post here.

Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on linkedin
Share on email