Africa stories

Here are the best stories from Special Olympics programs across Africa.

October 21, 2013

In Kenya, A Shunned Young Man Becomes a Beloved, Talented Coach

Thomas Gathu was born in Kenya at a time when children with intellectual disabilities were usually shunned, hidden – or worse. Yet his family saw that he had special gifts. When Thomas found Special Olympics, those gifts became talents.

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August 10, 2012

In Uganda, "Because of Special Olympics, I am Somebody"

When Florence Nabayinda was diagnosed with intellectual disabilities, her mother ran away.  Her father treated her harshly and she grew up amid violence and neglect in a rural Uganda village.

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November 15, 2011

Healthy Athletes in Africa launches Family Health Forums and a ground-breaking Malaria Awareness Campaign

As part of the most recent Lions Clubs International grant, their Foundation has made seed funds available to Special Olympics to implement programming designed to offer health information direct to parents and caregivers of our athletes; as well as position Lions Clubs to speak to the group to orient all as to the social services Lions Clubs provides to the community. These are known as the “Family Health Forums.” (FHF)

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September 30, 2011

A DREAM COMES TRUE

When Dr. Tim Shriver, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer , Special Olympics asked Special Olympics Tanzania whether we could organize for a Special Olympics athlete from Tanzania to accompany Mr. John Dee from Singapore and Salihin an athlete from Singapore, we confidently said “YES”. We mentioned the name of Herith Suleiman and started training him.

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July 15, 2011

Africa’s Athletes return victorious with 354 medals from the Special Olympics 2011 World Summer Games, Athens

21 African countries participated in the World Summer Games held in Greece 25 Jun – 4 July.Over 350 Special Olympics athletes from the Africa region travelled to Athens, Greece to participate in the Special Olympics 2011 World Summer Games.

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February 16, 2011

Future Full of Hope

At birth, Deon Namiseb was all but discarded but Special Olympics gave him a chance and hope. Today Deon is an accomplished athlete and a role model.

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Videos and Photos

DifferentBarry Cairns tells what it's like to be a Special Olympics athlete.Watch Video »


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SpeechlessSpecial Olympics changed her life in deep and meaningful ways.Watch Video »


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Summer GamesAround the world, months of practice are paying off.See Slideshow »


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Photos on FBSee photos and comments from our supporters around the world.See Photos »


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Hope in HaitiLeo and Gedeon play in makeshift fields, tent towns, wherever they can.Watch Video »


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Finding His VoiceDavid Egan has always dreamed big. Now look at him!Learn More »


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Sport Teaches UsOur life-changing work is fueled by the power of sport.Watch Video »


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Making SuccessDoctors said Lani is “never going to achieve anything.” Learn More »


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Very Very SpecialMusic helps Special Olympics make an impact worldwide.See Slideshow »


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Around The WorldGreat photos of Special Olympics events and people.See Slideshow »


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Focus on ChangeWhat we do can't be done without our partners.See Slideshow »


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Power of SportsSports are a powerful way to change our athlete’s lives.See Slideshow »


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What We DoSports, health, education, community and more.See Slideshow »


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Who We AreWe are athletes, families, celebs, volunteers and more.See Slideshow »


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Summer SportsOur athletes run, jump, swim and score in summer.See Slideshow »


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Playing UnifiedUnified Sports reveals strengths in every team member.Watch Video »


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Healthier AthletesOur free health clinics are making a huge difference.Watch Video »


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Deon NamisebHe's a speaker and role model. It didn't start that way in Namibia.Learn More »


Special Olympics Blog

Health Needs Need Closer Examination

"You can't compete if your feet hurt, if your teeth hurt or if your ears ache."read more »

Posted on 2014-04-07 by Ryan

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