In four widely spoken languages in Ghana, please join me in welcoming Ghana back to the Special Olympics family: Welcome! Akwaaba! Barka de Zuwa! Woezor!
As Ghana is my country of origin, and as a staffer with Special Olympics, I have been quietly living with the disappointment that Special Olympics Ghana lost accreditation as a member of the movement. Ghana was the first independent country in sub-Sahara Africa – the country where the cry for freedom, liberty, and the rights of man can be heard at the least occurrence of injustice. The country where sports and sports fanaticism can attain unbelievably frenzied heights! I resolved to do what I could to help Ghana get back on the Special Olympics bandwagon.
Barely a year after I began working for Special Olympics at its headquarters in Washington, D.C., I watched sadly as the name of Ghana disappeared from the lists of Special Olympics rosters. I was new to the organization and felt there was nothing I could do. Nevertheless, during my several visits to my home country of Ghana since then, I had mentioned it again and again to several influential acquaintances that Special Olympics is more than sports. It is giving life a chance. It is accepting people who through no fault of theirs have been neglected by society. It is speaking out for people without a voice. It is a movement for social change! So when the Special Olympics Chief of Regional Growth invited me one morning and asked that I introduce our staff in Africa to persons in Ghana who can help re-kindle the program, I was overjoyed. Truthfully, it was a personal relief.
Today, Special Olympics Ghana is back in the movement as a Founding Committee. Thank you Dr. John Dow Jr., for giving SO Ghana another chance. Thank you Charles Nyambe, for traveling all the way from Namibia to Ghana to jump-start the program. Thank you Charles Takouet for being there at the first meeting in Ghana. Thank you Koffi Adjome, for your tireless errands, in the hectic, hot and humid city of Accra (I know how it feels). Thank you Yasmin Soliman and all others who have quietly and steadily worked behind the scenes to make Special Olympics Ghana a reality.
About William Awumey: Manager, Online Resources