- Middle East-North Africa
- SOMENA Programs Launch Major Celebrations Marking Special Olympics Founder’s Third Departure Anniversary
SOMENA Programs Launch Major Celebrations Marking Special Olympics Founder’s Third Departure Anniversary
The third departure anniversary of Mrs. Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Founder of the Special Olympics movement, triggered major celebrations in a number of SOMENA programs on the “Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day”.
The occasion, being a day to pay tribute to the pioneer who devoted her life for the support of children with intellectual disabilities, turned into sensational events that spotlighted her role in driving the Special Olympics movement to inflict an outstanding quality change on the lives of children with intellectually disabilities.
Regional PresidencyConcurred with the Regional Advisory Council meetings in Cairo, the celebration of “Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day” was held at Heliopolis club - one of the biggest sports clubs in Egypt.
SOMENA Family Support Network Representative Mira Morsy supervised the event which included a seminar of lectures delivered in three different scopes. Psychologist Dr. Najlaa Abul Azm, Dr. Rami El-Nazer about healthy nutrition for people with special needs, while Regional President Ayman Abdel Wahab of SOMENA lectured on the importance of sports in the lives of individuals with intellectually disabilities.
Kingdom of Bahrain
In cooperation with the Bahrain Aluminum “Alba”, Special Olympics Bahrain hosted a carnival of activities under the auspice of SOMENA Regional President’s Advisor & Chairman of Special Olympics Bahrain Shaikh Daij bin Khalifa Al Khalifa.
The move by the SO Bahrain’s Board of Directors was assigned to the program’s Family Support Network committee and accordingly an event was organized to display the region’s keenness to celebrate the visions Eunice Kennedy Shriver always believed in.
By inviting athletes, their families and friends to gather for exercise in one place on a single day, Shriver was able to promote her visions that made her a token of inspiration for many individuals with intellectual disabilities.
Shriver outstandingly contributed to increasing the communities’ awareness of the talents of individuals with intellectual disabilities. Through the establishment of a charitable foundation to serve as an intellectual pioneer in this domain, she simply gave hope to these individuals when she helped them to recognize and believe in their abilities.
The carnival included a number of sports, painting and face-coloring competitions. Speeches were delivered by the organizing committees and Aluminum Bahrain (Alba), the main sponsor of the carnival, which was concluded by broadcasting a documentary featuring the life achievements of the Special Olympics movement’s great founder..
SO Palestine – Hebron Branch - held a sports day at the “Al-Rajaa” Center of the Palestinian Red Crescent.
The event included many of the sports and entertainment sections for individuals with intellectual disabilities such as tug of war, "Tele Match" games, table tennis, and athletics.
Designed to incorporate the SO athletes with their partners, who were estimated at sixty participants from both sexes, the competitions gained the admiration of the crowds as athletes performed in a manner clearly displaying their skills and abilities.
Displaying a likewise keenness to celebrate the memory of Eunice Kennedy Shriver, Special Olympics Libya held a sports day at the Tripoli Club, in what was described as a move of recognition taken by the program’s board of directors.
Recreational activities, sports and exhibition to display the creations of this segment of society were held. A section was also dedicated to highlight Eunice Kennedy Shriver’s achievements.
During the celebration, SO Libya called on all families having children with intellectual disabilities, as well as those interested in this field, to attend the ceremony.
Amid airs of joy and intense competitive spirits, Special Olympics Oman celebrated “The Eunice Kennedy Shriver day”. In participation of more than 30 children, an entertainment sports day was held in collaboration with the “Association of Hope for People with Disabilities”, during which athletes competed in a number of interactive sports activities held for the first time within Special Olympics Oman’s regular initiatives.
Basketball, bowling, running, hurdling, tug of war and other easy activities were offered for the children with intellectual disabilities triggering their joy and building their self-confidence. It was a great celebration marking the efforts of the late Mrs. Shriver who believed in the positive influence of sports on the lives of people with intellectual disabilities.
Thanks to Mrs. Shriver, sports events and activities are now being held worldwide for these children under the umbrella of Special Olympics.
In Kuwait, the SO Family Support Network celebrated the Eunice Kennedy Shriver day. The network administrator Mohammed Al-Sharah considered the celebration as part of the important ties of communication and cooperation between the athletes’ families.
“The goal of the Family Support Network is to work on achieving the ultimate interest of our athletes laying special focus on enhancing the process of community integration and renouncing segregation between our children and their peers”, Al Sharah said.
The SO Family Support Network in Kuwait strongly believes in that the right of athletes to participate in various community programs which requires their families to provide support, backup and cooperation.
Al-Sharah further pointed out the Family Support Network as the strongest resource of Special Olympics in terms the information necessary to encourage and support the Special Olympics programs.
He concluded his statement addressing the Kuwait Teachers Committee with appreciation on hosting the ceremony and the Kuwaiti Association on pursuing the follow-up issues of the disabled individuals in the Kuwaiti Society.