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May 23, 2014 | Africa: Kenya

Global Partner Lions Clubs International funds Family Health Forum in Kenya

By Mr John Makathimo

Carrying heavy jugs of water is a daily chore in Kenya, but Special Olympics is making it a bit easier for families through funding from Lions Club International. Since 2001, The Lions Club International Foundation's generous support has made it possible to expand Special Olympics Healthy Athletes Initiatives. The Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program offers health services, health promotion information and a family support network to family members of children and adults affected with an intellectual disability. Through Lions Club funding, Special Olympics Kenya was able to host a Family Health Forum in Kajiado during the month of April. Newly registered parents received water packs on arrival at the Family Health Forum . These water packs will greatly ease the burden of carrying water in heavy jerry cans as is the current practice. Generally carrying jerry cans to fetch water is regarded as the woman’s responsibility; however the packs are designed so that men would not feel uncomfortable in assisting in sharing the responsibility. Mrs Sheila Sakampi ,Teacher and coach at Illbissil Boarding School presented the Family Health Forum. Mrs Sheila educated family members and local leaders about health and hygiene issues concerning children and adults with an intellectual disability. The Forum created a great opportunity for families and athletes to make new friends and to get support from each other. This Healthy Athletes initiative serves as a platform for athletes and families to realise that they not alone and there is help and affordable ways to take care of their loved ones.

About Mr John Makathimo: I work as a Special Olympics Kenya National Director
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