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Africa

Special Olympics has 21 accredited programs addressing the needs of African people with an intellectual disability in the areas of sport, health, education and leadership. Special Olympics contributes significantly in addressing the correlation between disability and poverty, a key issue for the continent.

Our athletes in Africa helped strengthen the growth in the region. Learn More
A moment of NBA glory for a Special Olympics athlete from Senegal. Khody Kone
Special Olympics is a champion for people with ID in Africa Learn More
Lions Clubs help support health and fitness for our athletes. Learn More

Stories From Africa


May 15, 2015 | SOI General: Headquarters

The Flame of Hope is Ignited in Athens

By Christy White

On Thursday, 14 May the Special Olympics Flame of Hope for the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015, was lit during a formal torch lighting ceremony at the Sacred Site of Pnyx, opposite the Acropolis in Athens, Greece.View Story On Thursday, 14 May the Special Olympics Flame of Hope for the Special Olympics World Games Los Angeles 2015, was lit during a formal torch lighting ceremony at the Sacred Site of Pnyx, opposite the Acropolis in Athens, Greece. The Flame of Hope begins its trans-Atlantic journey via UPS Airlines, which will transport the flame to Washington, D.C. in time for the start of the Special Olympics Unified Relay Across America, presented by Bank of America, which will kick off on 26 May. At the conclusion of the Unified Relay, the Flame of Hope will be handed over to the 2015 Law Enforcement Torch Run for Special Olympics Final Leg Team where they will travel for 13 days to more than 120 cities and towns throughout California, honoring the spirit of the Special Olympics global movement and delivering a message of hope to communities where people with intellectual disabilities continue to fight for acceptance and inclusion. To read more about the lighting ceremony, click below.

About Christy White:I am the Director of Global Media and Public Relations for Special Olympics.
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May 14, 2015 | Africa: Kenya

Promoting Healthy Communities in Kenya

By Annemarie Hill

Special Olympics participated in the AMREF International Health Conference in Nairobi, presenting a poster entitled "The urgent need to make health programming and policies inclusive of people with intellectual disabilities".View Story Special Olympics participated in the AMREF International Health Conference in Nairobi in November 2014, presenting a poster entitled "The urgent need to make health programming and policies inclusive of people with intellectual disabilities". The conference attracted approximately 250 delegates, most of whom were representing health stakeholders within the African region, as well as a few international speakers. The program allowed Special Olympics to gain new insight in to health programming and research, some of which relates directly to the innovation and partnerships that have begun to emerge through Healthy Communities. Though it was apparent that disability, especially intellectual disability, remains a field often excluded from public health programs and research in Africa, AMREF showed an interest in Special Olympics Health programming and an introduction was facilitated which will hopefully lead to collaboration within Kenya.

About Annemarie Hill:I am the Director for Global Development and Government Relations at Special Olympics.
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May 14, 2015 | Africa: Senegal

Senegal hosts Inaugural National Conference on Intellectual Disability

By Annemarie Hill

In honor of the International Day of Disability, Special Olympics Senegal, under the patronage of the Ministry of Health and Social Action, and supported by UNICEF Senegal, hosted the inaugural "National Conference on Intellectual Disability" in Dakar.View Story In December 2014, in honor of the International Day of Disability, Special Olympics Senegal, under the patronage of the Ministry of Health and Social Action, and supported by UNICEF Senegal, hosted the inaugural "National Conference on Intellectual Disability" in Dakar. The event was presided over by the Senegalese Minster of Health and Social Action, The Honorable Professor Awa Marie Coll-Seck, and 150 delegates including representatives from several Senegalese Ministries as well as UNICEF, African Disability Alliance, American and Dutch Embassies, British Council, and many more. A highlight of the conference was the signing of the first Memorandum of Understanding between Special Olympics Senegal and the Ministry of Health and Social Action, aiming to increase access to health care services for individuals with intellectual disabilities through health screening programming, health education opportunities, capacity building and training of health care providers and much more.

About Annemarie Hill:I am the Director for Global Development and Government Relations at Special Olympics.
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May 14, 2015 | Africa: Kenya

Catholic Relief Services Awards Grant to Kenya

By Annemarie Hill

Global partner Catholic Relief Services has recently awarded Special Olympics Kenya a grant to support early childhood development for children with intellectual disabilities. The grant will afford Community Health Workers a chance to be trained on the Special Olympics Young Athletes program.View Story Global partner Catholic Relief Services has recently awarded Special Olympics Kenya a grant to support early childhood development for children with intellectual disabilities (ID). The grant will afford Community Health Workers a chance to be trained on the Special Olympics Young Athletes program. which is for youngsters 2 to 7 years old. The community health workers will be provided courses on the importance of play, motor activities etc. for this population. The project commits Special Olympics Kenya to engaging 100 children with ID into early childhood development work in the Kawangware informal settlement, a densely populated informal settlement to the west of Nairobi. This grant forms part of the larger CRS program called THRIVE, which is an early childhood development program funded by the Conrad N. Hilton Foundation, whose goal is to enable children under 5 years to thrive under a sustainable culture of care and support. The THRIVE project is an effort to level the playing field for children affected by HIV through targeted interventions and, through this project, will now be inclusive of children with ID.

About Annemarie Hill:I am the Director for Global Development and Government Relations at Special Olympics.
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April 29, 2015 | Africa: South Africa

Making a Difference in South Africa

By Emmie Steenkamp (Young Athlete Coach Manu Dei Centre, Klerksdorp, NorthWest South Africa)

Eulin is enjoying the Young Athletes activities

A youngster who didn’t want to take part in play with others his own age caught on to the fun of sport after taking part in the Special Olympics Young Athletes program.View Story A youngster who didn’t want to take part in play with others his own age caught on to the fun of sport after taking part in the Special Olympics Young Athletes program. When Eulin, a 6-year-old with an immune system deficiency, came to Manu Dei in Klerksdorp, NorthWest Province, he was an unemotional little boy who only sat quietly in his wheelchair. The other children wanted him to participate so badly but when they threw the ball to him, he would just push it away with his fist. When we pushed him in his wheelchair, he would get so angry and start screaming and crying. He just didn’t want to take part in any of the events at school. He did not want to be pushed in his wheelchair for the “running.” He would put his brakes on and get so angry with us. With plenty of encouragement, he started getting involved in the activities introduced to him in the Special Olympics Young Athlete Program. The program is for youngsters 2 to 7 year old, and it introduces them to the pleasure of movement and sports in the years before they can become Special Olympics athletes at age 8. Today he loves throwing the ball and now nobody needs to push him in his wheelchair. He moves his wheelchair by himself.

About Emmie Steenkamp (Young Athlete Coach Manu Dei Centre, Klerksdorp, NorthWest South Africa):I am the CEO of Special Olympics South Africa and presented the Young Athletes Train-The-Trainer course in January 2015. Emmie Steenkamp attended the course and since then she is working miracles in her centre in Klerksorp.
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Special Olympics Africa
Unit 300
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Epsom Downs Office Park
13 Sloane Street
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Office:  +27 11 706-3323+27 11 706-3323
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Special Olympics Blog

Jean Vanier, a prophet of humility and simplicity, wins!

Today, the Templeton Foundation gave its most prestigious award to my hero, Jean Vanier.  For Linda and our children and me, he has also been our retreat leader, our teacher of humility, our guide. 

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Posted on 2015-03-11 by Tim

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