African Leaders Forum on Disability To Be Held in Malawi on February 9−11

January 30, 2014

Malawi President Joyce Banda and Special Olympics Hosting African “Disability Davos”

More About The Forum

Visit the African Leaders Forum on Disability Special Section for more information, stories, and downloads.

For Immediate Release

Washington, D.C. – Special Olympics and Her Excellency President Joyce Banda of the Republic of Malawi are convening an African Leaders Forum on Disability to challenge the gross inequality and exclusion and the lower access to health, education, and employment faced by people with disabilities, especially those with intellectual disabilities. African government ministers, representatives of the world’s top development and aid organizations, Special Olympics athletes, sports celebrities, pop stars, and private sector representatives will attend this “Disability Davos” in Lilongwe, Malawi on Feb. 9 to 11

President Banda announced the Forum at the Clinton Global Initiative 2013 meeting. She has emerged as a champion for the rights of people with disabilities in Malawi, a small, democratic nation in Southeast Africa. Special Olympics is a global organization and grassroots movement for sports, health, education, and inclusion and is the largest organization in the world for people with intellectual disabilities. 

People with disabilities, and in particular those with intellectual disabilities, face cultural and economic inequality and entrenched stigma. They are often denied human rights and inclusion in their communities, and experience more poverty and worse outcomes in terms of health, education, and employment compared to the general population. 

The Malawian government and Special Olympics are establishing a coalition to advance the human rights of Africans with disabilities and create an inclusive development agenda for Africa. The Forum will build on the ever-growing awareness of the inequality and marginalization faced by people with disabilities, as indicated by the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, the 2011 “World Report on Disability” by the World Health Organization and World Bank, the 2012 UN Consultative Meeting of the African Disability Forum, and the 2013 UN High-level Meeting on Development Goals and Persons with Disabilities.

The African Leaders Forum on Disability is bringing together senior government and Special Olympics officials from 25-plus countries in Africa and leaders or senior representatives from organizations such as the African Union, USAID, UNICEF, the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, and Catholic Relief Services to agree on a concrete action plan for greater inclusion and better outcomes for people with disabilities in Africa. Forum partners in addition to the Republic of Malawi include the Golisano Foundation, Lions Club International, and UNICEF.


Special Olympics

Special Olympics is an international organization that unleashes the human spirit through the transformative power and joy of sports every day around the world. Through work in sports, health, education and community building, Special Olympics addresses inactivity, injustice, intolerance and social isolation by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, which leads to a more welcoming and inclusive society. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to more than 4.2 million athletes in 170 countries. With the support of more than one million coaches and volunteers, Special Olympics is able to deliver training and competition opportunities in 32 Olympic-type sports and more than 70,000 events throughout the year. Visit Special Olympics at www.specialolympics.org. Engage with us on: Twitter@specialolympics; fb.com/specialolympics; youtube.com/specialolympicshq, and specialolympics.org/blog.

Contact

Lynn Aylward, Special Olympics
+1 (202) 824-0336
laylward@specialolympics.org

Your Donation Matters

Special Olympics transforms athletes’ lives through the joy of sport. Help us make a difference.

DONATE TODAY»

Volunteer Near You

Volunteering with Special Olympics is fun and very rewarding, for both the athlete and the volunteer!

LEARN MORE»

Follow Us

Help us reach out to one more athlete.

Donate »

Find events near you and learn about volunteer opportunities at one of our 220 worldwide locations.

FIND A LOCATION NEAR YOU »

Videos and Photos

DifferentBarry Cairns tells what it's like to be a Special Olympics athlete.Watch Video »


Videos and Photos

SpeechlessSpecial Olympics changed her life in deep and meaningful ways.Watch Video »


Videos and Photos

Summer GamesAround the world, months of practice are paying off.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Photos on FBSee photos and comments from our supporters around the world.See Photos »


Videos and Photos

Hope in HaitiLeo and Gedeon play in makeshift fields, tent towns, wherever they can.Watch Video »


Videos and Photos

Finding His VoiceDavid Egan has always dreamed big. Now look at him!Learn More »


Videos and Photos

Sport Teaches UsOur life-changing work is fueled by the power of sport.Watch Video »


Videos and Photos

Making SuccessDoctors said Lani is “never going to achieve anything.” Learn More »


Videos and Photos

Very Very SpecialMusic helps Special Olympics make an impact worldwide.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Around The WorldGreat photos of Special Olympics events and people.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Focus on ChangeWhat we do can't be done without our partners.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Power of SportsSports are a powerful way to change our athlete’s lives.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

What We DoSports, health, education, community and more.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Who We AreWe are athletes, families, celebs, volunteers and more.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Summer SportsOur athletes run, jump, swim and score in summer.See Slideshow »


Videos and Photos

Playing UnifiedUnified Sports reveals strengths in every team member.Watch Video »


Videos and Photos

Healthier AthletesOur free health clinics are making a huge difference.Watch Video »


Videos and Photos

Deon NamisebHe's a speaker and role model. It didn't start that way in Namibia.Learn More »


Special Olympics Blog

Health Needs Need Closer Examination

"You can't compete if your feet hurt, if your teeth hurt or if your ears ache."read more »

Posted on 2014-04-07 by Ryan

go to blog »


*

Special Olympics - Become a Fan