Special Olympics Samoa begins outreach programme

Special Olympics Samoa has started its outreach programme to ensure sports services are accessible to people with and without intellectual disabilities.

The outreach programme for the Sagaga, Tuamasaga and Aana Districts was held at the Faleolo Airport Terminal Area on Wednesday morning and was attended by parents and partners.

The National Director for Special Olympics Samoa, Unasa Elizabeth Ah Poe told the Samoa Observer in an interview that the purpose of the activity is to conduct a community awareness programme at the community level.

"It is also an opportunity to increase confidence and strengthening the participation of athletes, boys and girls, men and women in changing attitudes to create inclusion in sport and also in the community level," Unasa said. 

"So the objective of this outreach community awareness programme is to achieve a high quality of service through the sporting programme and engaging with the key partners at the community level." 

The other objective of the programme is to strengthen the participation of people with and without intellectual disabilities an equal opportunity to develop and demonstrate courage to address human rights free from violence.  

The programme is funded by the Government of Samoa through the Civil Society Support Programme (C.S.S.P) and the European Union and are working in partnership with stakeholders and partners such as Brown Girl Woke (B.G.W) and Talofa Kids.

Unasa explained that the reason for choosing the Sagaga, Tuamasaga and Aana areas is to expand their service as the awareness programme is the first of its kind for the area.

She also said that it is a great opportunity for them to expand their service so that people with and without intellectual disabilities have access to sports as a tool for them to communicate and to connect with everyone in society.

They welcome any family and members of the community who want to join them. Unasa advises that in the first instance, the public is welcome to give them a call. 

Unasa stated that their next step is to implement their sports activities and the organisation is currently looking at parents who are interested to be registered as coaches in the programme. 

For the outcome of the programme, she explained that it is achieving a high quality of service through the sporting programmes they deliver, and it will also act as preparation for the 2023 Special Olympics World Games, that will be held in Germany. 

She acknowledges the support of C.S.S.P, Government of Samoa, European Union, Samoa Airport Authority and their partners.

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