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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


December 17, 2014 | Africa: Kenya

Special Olympics and Lions Clubs Partner in Kenya, Charter First Champions Club in Africa

By Annemarie Hill

A new partnership between Lions Clubs International and Special Olympics will support health programming, family health education, Leo engagement in Unified Sports ® and will provide publicity for joint initiatives to help raise awareness.View Story A new partnership between Lions Clubs International and Special Olympics will support health programming, family health education, Leo engagement in Unified Sports ® and will provide publicity for joint initiatives to help raise awareness. The Lions Clubs International District 411A signed an official MoU with Special Olympics in the presence of First lnternational Vice President Dr. Jitsuhiro Yamada in September. Dr. Yamada also received the Charter Application form of the Friends of Special Olympics Kenya Champions Lions Club, the 1st Champions Lions Club in Africa. The club is dedicated to supporting and raising funds for Special Olympics Kenya. This new club is the 12th Champions Lions Club worldwide. The signing took place after an Opening Eyes screening in which 32 Special Olympics athletes had their vision tested and received prescription lenses and medication. The event was supported by numerous Lions and Leos - a clear indication of the tremendous support to come from the Lions and Leos of Kenya as the partnership kicks off!

About Annemarie Hill:I am the Director of Global Development and Government Relations for Special Olympics.
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December 15, 2014 | Africa: Malawi

A Legacy of the African Leaders Forum: Vision Care for Malawi

By Annemarie Hill

As a legacy of the 2014 African Leaders Forum on Disability, Special Olympics, together with the Lions Clubs International Foundation, conducted a national Opening Eyes training seminar to strengthen professional knowledge and practice in providing quality vision care to people with ID.View Story As a legacy of the 2014 African Leaders Forum on Disability, Special Olympics, together with the Lions Clubs International Foundation, conducted a national Opening Eyes training seminar to strengthen professional knowledge and practice in providing quality vision care to people with ID. Special Olympics Malawi, Special Olympics Africa and Global Clinical Advisor Dr. Sandy Block, conducted a three day seminar series at the Mzuzu University Department of Optometry. The training attracted 59 delegates and included full day didactic sessions as well as examinations. The screening was well publicized, giving much needed awareness to the important role that healthcare professionals play in the development of individuals with ID. Direct engagement with the Mzuzu University’s Department of Optometry will be sustained through a generous grant by Optometry Giving Sight, which is dedicated to empowering vision care professionals to care for those most in need in communities throughout the world.

About Annemarie Hill:I am the Director of Global Development and Government Relations at Special Olympics.
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December 15, 2014 | Africa: Zimbabwe

African Disability Roundtable Raises 25 Lilongwe Declaration Signatories

By Annemarie Hill

The Lilongwe Declaration on Intellectual Disability served as a highlight of the recent 2nd Continental Disability Roundtable Meeting, an initiative hosted and organized by the government of the Republic of Zimbabwe, in partnership with the Africa Disability Alliance (ADA) and various disability organizations.View Story The Lilongwe Declaration on Intellectual Disability served as a highlight of the recent 2nd Continental Disability Roundtable Meeting, an initiative hosted and organized by the government of the Republic of Zimbabwe, in partnership with the Africa Disability Alliance (ADA) and various disability organizations. The conference highlighted the need to mainstream disability programming across all government policy. The ADA and Special Olympics share a partnership that works to strengthen policies on disability. As participants in the 2014 African Leaders Forum on Disability, the ADA and Special Olympics secured some 25 organizational signatories to the first-ever Lilongwe Declaration on ID, a landmark document sanctioned by the Republic of Malawi to take concerted action to support individual with ID. As a result of this commitment, the ADA intends to promote the inclusion of people with ID in national and international development goals, strategies, funding and interventions, through active participation.

About Annemarie Hill:I am the Director of Global Development and Government Relations at Special Olympics.
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December 15, 2014 | Africa: Kenya

Learning from Special Olympics athletes

By John Onani

Myself trying to make a shot.

At first I was apprehensive because before then I had never interacted with any individual with intellectual disabilities. But on the first day of training all my fears and misconceptions were erased by the great experience I had.View Story I was invited to join the Special Olympics Kenya University of Nairobi club by my classmate who was already a unified partner. At first I was apprehensive because before then I had never interacted with any individual with intellectual disabilities. But on the first day of training all my fears and misconceptions were erased by the great experience I had. I discovered that individuals with intellectual disabilities are just like me, they have dreams and desires and given the opportunity they can as well shine like any other young person. Since then I have made lasting friendship with my teammates with intellectual disabilities, actually I have noticed that they also value our friendship and therefore I should not take them for granted. Above the friendship and changed attitude I have learnt many important virtues from Special Olympics athletes, I have learnt determination, consistency and patience. I can say I have become a better person since I joined Special Olympics Kenya.

About John Onani:My name is John Onani,I'm 20 years old and I'm a basketball unified partner at the university of Nairobi Special Olympics Kenya club.I joined Special Olympics Kenya this year.
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December 12, 2014 | Africa: Kenya

Inclusion and Acceptance

By Jeff Bisley

My self making a block (bib no.7)

My life has changed since I joined Special Olympics Kenya, I appreciate the way the coaches dedicate themselves in giving us consistent training.View Story My life has changed since I joined Special Olympics Kenya, I appreciate the way the coaches dedicate themselves in giving us consistent training. When my coach invited us to play Unified beach volleyball I thought that it would be very difficult to have a meaningful experience since the unified partners would be highly skilled than us. But over time I have I began to see that we were all learning from our coach and also helping each other in training. Training and competing with the unified partners has given me a lot of confidence both on and out of the field. I don't fear interacting with my peers without intellectual disabilities any more. I thank Special Olympics for promoting inclusion,slowly everybody will be able to understand us and include us in their day to day life.

About Jeff Bisley:I am 20 years and play volleyball as well middle and long distance track events.
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Special Olympics Africa
Unit 300
Ground Floor, Process House
Epsom Downs Office Park
13 Sloane Street
Bryanston, 2152
Johannesburg
South Africa

Office:  +27 11 706-3323+27 11 706-3323
Email: asmith@specialolympics.org

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Special Olympics Blog

Sport and Tech Team Up for Good

Now, thanks to Microsoft, athletes, coaches and families will have rapid access to useful information about their scores, times, personal bests, fitness and health. Special Olympics can use this capability to dramatically improve the lives of people in our Movement.  read more »

Posted on 2014-10-27 by Janet

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