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


October 10, 2014 | Africa: Kenya

Unified Sports becomes a reality in Kenya

By Mr John Makathimo

Earlier this year, 12 Sports Directors from African programs were trained to conduct Unified Sports training at a workshop in Johnannesburg. Special Olympics Kenya took full advantage of this training to begin implementing Unified Sport in their country.View Story Special Olympics Unified Sports® joins people with and without intellectual disabilities together on the same team. It was inspired by a simple principle: training together and playing together is a quick path to friendship and understanding. Earlier this year,12 Sports Directors from different African programs were trained to conduct Unified Sports training at a workshop in Johnannesburg. Special Olympics Kenya took full advantage of this training to begin implementing Unified Sport in their country. They recently hosted their first ever Unified Sports training with 27 Head Coaches at the YMCA in Central Nairobi. Senior Director of Operations and Program Development in the Africa Region, Mr. Charles Nyambe, was on hand to help oversee the training with the assistance of Program Development Manager, Mr. Joe Mutua. The training included both Head Coaches and Regional Coordinators and each participant was encouraged to recruit 20 Unified coaches, 75 athletes, and 60 Unified partners by the end of the year. With this kind of commitment to training and great facilities, Special Olympics Kenya is going to great lengths to achieve their Unified Sports objectives and to contribute to the attainment of Special Olympics Africa’s strategic goals. Thank you to Lions Club International and The Leo's for ensuring that Special Olympics Kenya carried out a successful Unified Sports training.

About Mr John Makathimo:Special Olympics Kenya National Director
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October 10, 2014 | Africa: Zimbabwe

Unified training begins in Zimbabwe

By Mrs Viola Musariri

Special Olympics Zimbabwe held Unified Sports® training at Prince Edward School in Harare in which 21 sports enthusiasts participated. Unified Sports involves teams made up of people with and without intellectual disabilities.View Story Special Olympics Zimbabwe held Unified Sports® training at Prince Edward School in Harare in which 21 sports enthusiasts participated. Unified Sports involves teams made up of people with and without intellectual disabilities. The event began with a theoretical overview of Unified Sport® and ended with a practical play of a 7-A-side football match. The athletes and unified teammates were taught ball skills and how to work together as a team. The participants also took turns to coaching their side to give them a different perspective of the sport. This event truly encapsulated the essence of sportsmanship and unity and Special Olympics Zimbabwe looks forward to reaching their 2016 goal of implementing Unified Sports.

About Mrs Viola Musariri:Special Olympics Zimbabwe National Director
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October 10, 2014 | Africa: Mauritius

Mauritius hosts successful regional games

By Mr Satyagan Choytun

Special Olympics Mauritius, in collaboration with The Mentally Handicapped Persons Sports Federation hosted a very successful Regional Games at Sir Gaëtan Duval stadium, Rose Hill.View Story Special Olympics Mauritius, in collaboration with The Mentally Handicapped Persons Sports Federation hosted a very successful Regional Games at Sir Gaëtan Duval stadium, Rose Hill. Approximately 150 athletes from different special schools in the Central, Southern and Western regions participated in the games. Great support was shown by family members and other spectators. Athletes who would advanced to national level participated to be eligible to advance to World Games. Sports competitions give athletes a great platform to unleash their sporting potential and experience joy through participation.. The athletes competed in 50m run, 50m walk, 100m walk, 100m run, 200m run and 400m run, Softball, Long Jump, Shot Put, and Bocce. The Opening Ceremony was addressed by the Municipal Councillor of Beau Bassin, Mrs. Karen Fook Yoon. She assured the program that the Council would support their activities and was very honoured to be part of the event. Many thanks to the event planners from the Ministry of Youth and Sports, and the Ministry of Social Security for supporting the event.

About Mr Satyagan Choytun :Special Olympics Mauritius National Director
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October 10, 2014 | Africa: South Africa

West African programs receive Healthy Athletes training

By Lauren Quin

Healthy Athletes training was recently carried out in three programs in West Africa, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Cote d’lvoire. It was great to see Lions Club International and Red Cross at hand to assist in programing and screening.View Story Healthy Athletes training was recently carried out in three programs in West Africa, Senegal, Burkina Faso and Cote d’lvoire. Special Olympics Regional Healthy Athletes Manager Ms. Lauren Quin and Program Development Manager Mr. Charles Takouet, were on site to oversee the training. It was great to see The Lions Club International and Red Cross at hand to assist in programing and screening. Healthy Athletes runs an active program in West Africa and wants to expand their services to offer Family Health Forums, Opening Eyes and Health Promotion over the next two years. To ensure high quality care at their events, programs build relationships with informal partners and specialists with influential roles at their various institutions to assists and take part at their initiative. Volunteers play a crucial role at Healthy Athletes events and it’s imperative that programs develop a strong volunteer database to help sustain volunteerism and continuous help in their health activities. At more than 1.4 million free health screening clinics in more than 100 countries, the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program offers health services and information to athletes in dire need. In the process, Special Olympics has become the largest global public health organization dedicated to serving people with intellectual disabilities.

About Lauren Quin :Regional Manager, Healthy Athletes
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October 10, 2014 | Africa: Zimbabwe

Bringing awareness to families in Zimbabwe

By Mrs Viola Musariri

Families are the number one supporters of Special Olympics athletes, giving them the love, support and encouragement that no one else can. Special Olympics Family Health Forum is a support network that brings families together in a caring positive way.View Story Families are the number one supporters of Special Olympics athletes, giving them the love, support and encouragement that no one else can. Special Olympics Family Health Forum is a support network that brings families together in a caring positive way and enables them to better understand their children’s capabilities and how to take better care of them. Special Olympics Zimbabwe hosted a Family Health Forum in Chitungwazi village at the Early Learning Centre, the perfect place to promote the Family Health Forum. A campaign was implemented to invite the mothers of the 250 children at The Early Learning Centre. An invitation was inserted into each child’s satchel to formally invite family members and encourage them to bring more people. Through this awareness campaign the program was able to cover 3 suburbs namely; Seke, Zengeza and Manyame Park. The effective strategy attracted170 family members who were introduced to Special Olympics’ mission and vision, what intellectual disability is, what role family members can play, and different platforms that they can participate in. During the Forum the families shared testimonies and raised the issue of involving fathers more in supporting their children. Attendees were very grateful for the platform given to them by Special Olympics Zimbabwe. In closing, a family coordinator from Chitungwiza was identified and a committee was put in place to coordinate family activities in Chitungwiza.

About Mrs Viola Musariri:Special Olympics Zimbabwe National Director
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Special Olympics Africa
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Special Olympics Blog

Suneedhi: a Girl, a Clinic, a Dream

For a dental surgeon such as myself, screening was just the first step! i felt we needed to go beyond examinations to ensuring people with intellectual disability got any treatment that they needed. I felt I could help more. read more »

Posted on 2014-09-22 by Lynn

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