International Disability Day marked with games
Special Olympics Samoa (S.O.S.) hosted mini-games over two-days for 260 participants to mark National Disability Week and International Day of Persons with Disabilities.
The participants were accompanied by their parents as well as volunteers who were invited to join the celebration from 2-3 December.
The theme for this year’s celebration revolved around the theme “Leadership and participation of persons with disabilities towards an inclusive, accessible and sustainable post-COVID-19 World.”
The European Union through the Civil Society Support Programme (C.S.S.P.) awarded SAT$200,000 to S.O.S back in 2020 to support the two-year initiative. It focuses on creating a world of inclusion and community, encouraging a shift in perspective and behaviour towards those with intellectual disabilities through their involvement and participation in sports activities.
The S.O.S. plays a very significant role in initiating sports activities and programs to enable access of persons with or without intellectual disabilities to services at the community level.
Community Outreach and Awareness Programs were carried out both in Upolu and Savai’i by the S.O.S. for parents, caregivers and children with intellectual disabilities for the purpose of raising awareness by advocating for the recognition and acceptance of people with disabilities within sports, and also encouraged the participation of young athletes, boys and girls, men and women.
Monthly mini-games were carried out to promote the continuous efforts and participation of the community in ensuring equal opportunities for all, regardless of their age and gender, to exhibit courage and sportsmanship.
The National Director of S.O.S. Unasa Elizabeth Ah-Poe said there were 260 participants invited to join the monthly games to celebrate National Disability Week.
“Through sports, persons with or without intellectual disabilities grow a sense of independence and empowerment to be leaders and inspire changes within their communities,” said Unasa.
“Sports participation can also benefit persons with or without intellectual disabilities amongst our local community groups that can prevent health complications, provide healthy competition, and also promote the use of time, their capabilities, and valuable life skills.
“This is a great opportunity to engage them in group activities to reduce the risk of isolation and discrimination.”
Special Olympics Samoa (S.O.S.) is a not-for-profit organization accredited by Samoa Olympics International (S.O.I.), which is a global movement of people creating a world of inclusion and community, where every single person is accepted and welcomed, regardless of their differences through sports.
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