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Special Olympics and UNICEF: Continued Community Building in Eastern Kazakhstan

Special Olympics and UNICEF Kazakhstan have entered Phase II of the community-development project "Building Inclusive Communities for Children with Intellectual Disabilities," pledging to expand the reach of services to include more children with intellectual disabilities and their families in eastern Kazakhstan. The project will provide early childhood development services, family support seminars, participation in inclusive sports and health examinations. It will also integrate health education and referral services by the Red Crescent National Society of Kazakhstan, primarily around the prevention and treatment of tuberculosis. Olympic Gold Medalist Olga Rypakova will serve as national ambassador for the project and shares the excitement with both organizations. "This is a very innovative approach to community building," said Bjoern Koehler, who leads the project at Special Olympics. "We are grateful to the Republic of Kazakhstan for their confidence and commitment to action."

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I serve as Vice President, Global Development and Government Relations for Special Olympics International.