March 06, 2017 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

From the Mountains of Gilgit to Austria

By Sarah Amin Ali

Parvez is perhaps one of the toughest athletes at Special Olympics Pakistan. He is the sole bread winner of his family and works as a laborer in a wheat field in Gilgit.View Story Parvez is perhaps one of the toughest athletes at Special Olympics Pakistan. Parvez is the sole bread winner of his family and works as a laborer in a wheat field in Gilgit. He walks to the field 10 to 12 KM daily, carrying freshly cut wheat on his back. This has perhaps contributed to him being an excellent athlete, with incredible stamina, making him even better at snowshoeing! While it was difficult for him to get along with others initially, he has now become one of the most caring athletes we have had the pleasure of witnessing. He also has a very strong bond with his coach Amna Baig accompanying him to the games.  Parvez is referred to as “Captain” at the training camps. Whenever he is down, sick or simply not in the mood to train, the nickname “Captain” does the trick and he works 10 times harder than he normally does! His only concerns are his mother’s health and making her proud of his achievements.

About Sarah Amin Ali: Sarah Ali has been on the staff of Special Olympics Pakistan for 2 years. She leads the Young Athletes Program and is a soccer coach.
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August 18, 2016 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

Pakistan launches mobile app for Young Athletes

By Genevieve Jiang

Special Olympics Pakistan has launched a mobile app for Young Athletes, providing teachers and parents easy access to resources and information.View Story Special Olympics Pakistan has launched a mobile app for Young Athletes, providing teachers and parents easy access to resources and information. The app will guide them through activities that are part of the Special Olympics Young Athletes program. Young Athletes is a sport and play program for children with and without intellectual disabilities (ID), ages 2 to 7 years old. Young Athletes introduces basic sport skills, like running, kicking and throwing. Young Athletes helps ensure that every child, with or without intellectual disabilities, gets an opportunity to play at home, at a park or at school. Caregivers are given step-by-step instructions which take them through the Young Athletes curriculum. It ranges from basic skills, such as walking, to advanced skills for different sports. Activities include climbing, throwing, jumping and maintaining balance. The app, which has been successfully launched in Pakistan, will be introduced at Special Olympics Pakistan's Young Athletes seminars to reach out to teachers from various Special Education Institutes. The Young Athletes app encourages parents and teachers to get involved in their child’s progress and play a role in their development. The children can develop different sporting skills and abilities from this app. Parents can then put their children in formal training sessions once they get through the Advanced level of the app. Special Olympics Pakistan hopes to reach out to a total of 800 parents by the end of 2016. The app is available for download on Google Play.

About Genevieve Jiang: I am Senior Manager, Communications and Development, at Special Olympics Asia Pacific
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April 11, 2016 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

Our Biggest Barrier is Social Attitude

By Ronak Lakhani

"My life so far has been very challenging with many ups and downs," said Haseeb Abbasi of Pakistan. He was standing on the TedX stage in Lahore.View Story "My life so far has been very challenging with many ups and downs," said Haseeb Abbasi of Pakistan. He was standing on the TedX stage in Lahore. "In villages of our country, most people with intellectual disabilities never get a chance at happiness, never get a chance to learn, never get the opportunity to play. Love and acceptance are missing from their lives." Haseeb told the story of his own life, how he found talking so difficult that he felt isolated at school. But he persisted, and discovered something about himself through Special Olympics leadership training. "Special Olympics Pakistan gave me courage, confidence and the power to compete," Haseeb said. He's now using the story of his life to change the way people in Pakistan perceive people with disabilities. "In Pakistan society, a person who is born with an intellectual disability may be perceived as suffering imposed by Allah. The family of them thinks they have been punished for some misdeed. So many of us are left out and even denied access to the most basic services, like health and education. instead of sending us to the few special education schools that exist in Pakistan, we are kept at home." He has found success at school and in Special Olympics sports and leadership programs, but he is like everyone else. "Everyone struggles and has difficulty with something. We do struggle with our lives, but the biggest barrier in our lives is the social attitude," Haseeb said. "We need to move away from a culture of sympathy and pity." And that is why he was on that stage in Lahore. Watch his full presentation on YouTube at the link below.

About Ronak Lakhani: I am the General Secretary on the board of Special Olympics Pakistan. I have been involved with the movement since 1989 when I was a volunteer at the first City Games in Karachi.
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September 15, 2015 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

How Athlete Leadership has changed my life

By Jasmine Sharif

Hi my name is Jasmine Sharifi, and my life has changed a lot since joining the Special Olympics Athlete Leadership program. I became stronger, made a lot of friends, and most of all I became more confident.View Story Hi my name is Jasmine Sharifi, and my life has changed a lot since joining the Special Olympics Athlete Leadership program. I became stronger, made a lot of friends, and most of all I became more confident. Last year, I and Ben Haack got selected as the co-chairs of Asia Pacific Athlete Input Council. I am really happy that I got a chance to represent the entire Asia Pacific region. Besides this I also come to the office and train new athletes in speeches and on personal hygiene. I am also a member of the Health Advocate program and will go to school to train students in personal hygiene.

About Jasmine Sharif: My name is Jasmine Sharif,I am from SO Pakistan, I Love Special Olympics
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June 25, 2015 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

Athlete Leadership: A mission of skill, courage, acceptance and joy

By Daulat Asif Visram

Adil Asif Visram was unable to cope in school. In 1990, he joined a special school and learnt to play different sports. His health improved, he became confident and made many friends.View Story Adil Asif Visram was unable to cope in school. In 1990, he joined a special school and learnt to play different sports. His health improved, he became confident and made many friends. Due to his hard work in 2002, he was selected through the Special Olympics Athlete Leadership program as an Assistant Coach. He says, “The first time I got a salary I was so excited that overnight I grew up from a boy to man.” He was trained to speak and to create awareness at events, schools, media etc. His dedication led to being selected by Special Olympics International as 1 of the 12 international global ambassadors. At the 2007 World Games in China, he gave a welcome speech at the opening ceremony in front of an audience of 70000 people. Adil said, “I was told later by friends and family that all those who saw me on TV cried with pride and joy and praised Special Olympics for organizing such a huge event. I think China and Special Olympics gave hope and joy to the participants and millions of people around the world."

About Daulat Asif Visram: A family member
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November 21, 2014 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

“One of the happiest days of my life”

By Asim Zar

Hello. I have been swimming for last seven years and recently I participated in the Regional & National Games 2014 held by Special Olympics Pakistan. The encouragement by the Coaches & other fellow athletes made me feel important.View Story Hello. I have been swimming for last seven years and recently I participated in the Regional & National Games 2014 held by Special Olympics Pakistan. The encouragement by the Coaches & other fellow athletes made me feel important. After games, team was invited at a club where Regional men’s swimming championship was going on. There were about 300 spectators and Special Olympics Pakistan athletes were invited to swim alongside main stream swimmers. Seeing so many people, I was so nervous & afraid but instead I wanted to prove myself and this was a golden opportunity for me. I performed my best that day & could hear everyone cheering & shouting and when I got to the finish line we were announced the winners. It was the encouragement I got from all around me. This Gold medal I won, all credit goes to Special Olympics Pakistan & my family for believing me & giving confidence. I also was given the mike to say a few words. I grab the mike & showed my excitement like never before. I`m proud to be a part of Special Olympics.

About Asim Zar : My name is Asim Zar and I am 27 years old special athlete and currently working in “DANPAK” food factory as a general helper in packaging department.
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November 05, 2014 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

Believing In My Dreams

By Haseeb Abbasi

Hello, my name is Muhammad haseeb Abbasi.I am sixteen years of age I’m a proud Special Olympics Pakistan Athlete Recently went to Karachi to participate in Special Olympics Pakistan National Games 2014-2015 I took part in 10 km cycling competition and won silver medal. To me winning orView Story Hello, my name is Muhammad haseeb Abbasi.I am sixteen years of age I’m a proud Special Olympics Pakistan Athlete Recently went to Karachi to participate in Special Olympics Pakistan National Games 2014-2015 I took part in 10 km cycling competition and won silver medal. To me winning or losing means you are still at the TOP, which is what Special Olympics, is all about There is nothing to lose here. Special Olympics Pakistan has broken the most difficult barrier of my life was my voice. Being Autistic Verbal language was tough it was difficult for me to speak up for myself. My confidence to speak has improved tremendously since from day 1 when my Coach Arshad Javaid believed in me and provided me with an opportunity on the stage with a microphone to introduce myself with fellow Athletes of Special Olympics Pakistan. The biggest reward of my life from Special Olympics is that they have given me voice and I cannot imagine my life without Special Olympics Pakistan .I wan

About Haseeb Abbasi: Hello, my name is Muhammad haseeb Abbasi.I am sixteen years of age
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November 05, 2014 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

My Experience as a Health Ambassadors

By Jasmine Sharif

The Family Health Forum in Lahore, Pakistan, was held from 19th October till 25th October 2014. Coordinator Ms. Asma Hasan and I flew to Lahore for it.View Story The Family Health Forum in Lahore, Pakistan, was held from 19th October till 25th October 2014. Coordinator Ms. Asma Hasan and I flew to Lahore for it. First we went to Faisalabad by road for Family Health Forum Program held at the Chenab Club. I helped in welcoming, registration and seating the guests, then I gave my PowerPoint presentation about Special Olympics. We did not have the Health Ambassadors training because there is no Athlete Leadership program in Faisalabad but will start soon. Back in Lahore the Family Health Forum/Health Ambassadors training was held. I trained 12 athlete leaders to welcome, register, escort guests to seats, give goody bags and serve juices. One of our athlete leaders gave a speech about how Special Olympics has changed his life for the better. On 25th October 2014 a “Safeguard Carnival” was organized at the PAF Ground by Procter and Gamble Company. AlPs and the Young Athletes attended with their families. Along with volunteers each Alps athlete was in charge of a stall. I was in the face painting

About Jasmine Sharif : my name is Jasmine Sharif, and I am an athlete boardmember
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October 27, 2014 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

Believing In My Dreams

By Haseeb Abbasi

At National Games 2014 Karachi

Special Olympics Pakistan has broken the most difficult barrier of my life, my voice. Being autistic, verbal language was tough. My confidence to speak has improved tremendously since day one.View Story Hello, my name is Muhammad Haseeb Abbasi.I am sixteen years of age. I’m a proud Special Olympics Pakistan athlete. I recently went to Karachi to participate in Special Olympics Pakistan National Games 2014-2015. I took part in 10 km cycling competition and won a silver medal. To me winning or losing means you are still at the TOP, which is what Special Olympics, is all about. There is nothing to lose here. Special Olympics Pakistan has broken the most difficult barrier of my life was my voice. Being autistic, verbal language was tough. It was difficult for me to speak up for myself. My confidence to speak has improved tremendously since day one when my Coach Arshad Javaid believed in me and provided me with an opportunity on the stage with a microphone to introduce myself with fellow athletes of Special Olympics Pakistan. The biggest reward of my life from Special Olympics is that they have given me voice and I cannot imagine my life without Special Olympics Pakistan.

About Haseeb Abbasi: my story is above attached
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October 09, 2014 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

My experience as an Athlete Leader

By Jasmine Sharif Athlete Boardmember Pakistan

Me giving an PowerPoint presentation

I really enjoy being in the Athlete Leadership program. It gives me more confidence, I have made friends and I am able to speak more than before.View Story Hi my name is Jasmine Sharif. I have been involved in Special Olympics for 8 years as an athlete. In 2007, I became part of Athlete Leadership Program . In 2011 I went to Singapore for the athlete leadership conferences. In 2014 went to Malaysia for the Special Olympics Asia Pacific Input Council conferences and I was chosen as its co-chair person along with Ben Haack We had Health Ambassadors I really enjoy being in the Athlete Leadership program. It gives me more confidence, I have made friends and I am able to speak more than before. On the EKS Day, I also gave a PowerPoint presentation of Mrs. Eunice Kennedy Shriver's life and the history of Special Olympics. Thank you Special Olympics

About Jasmine Sharif Athlete Boardmember Pakistan: My name is Jasmine Sharif I am an athlete Board member and serve on the input council for Special Olympics in Asia Pacific.
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October 01, 2014 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

Prayers needed for our Special Rock Star LAD

By Tehmina Azim

I had published a very inspiring story about our" Special Lad Turned into a Rock Star", Mr.Abbas on 22nd August 2013 on this page.View Story I had published a very inspiring story about our" Special Lad Turned into a Rock Star", Mr.Abbas on 22nd August 2013 on this page.Our Lad is full of fun loving nature, loves to sing and dance and everyone loves him too.He gained confidence when he came into Special Olympics and treats everyone like his own family.Abbas love being in Special Olympics and with Special athletes. Unfortunately our Special lad has been diagnosed with severe illness for last two months.He will undergo surgery in the upcoming days.He recently attended our EKS and FHF events on 18th September 2014 and 20th September 2014 .It is humbly requested to ALL to please pray for hard for him.He badly needs our prayers.With Love for ABBAS"We were starting to think that you were invincible.Its good to know that you are human after all.We all are looking forward to you getting back to your invincible self.Get well soon,SUPER STAR".We at Special Olympics are praying hard for you! Soon you will be with US!

About Tehmina Azim: I am the Global Family Leader representing Asia Pacific and also National Coordinator of FSN at Special Olympics Pakistan.I have a down syndrome boy Mr.Asim Zar who is working as a helper in DANPAK factory.
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September 15, 2014 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

Respect for All!!

By lubna nawaz

I question myself: why should Hashim suffer? why can't he go out and enjoy the way he wants? He is a bit different and wants to see the world according to his understanding. He has his own abilities.View Story Hi,my name is Lubna and mother of two boys with autism. Both are Special Olympics Pakistan athletes. My younger son Hashim is non-verbal and very hyper, especially going in market places and family events. I have noticed that people stared at us. They look at him as if someone alien has invaded. First, this used to embarrass me a lot, and every time I used to promise myself I will not take my son along with me, but being his mother, I question myself: why should Hashim suffer? why can't he go out and enjoy the way he wants? He is a bit different and wants to see the world according to his understanding. He has his own abilities. I have come to a firm belief that as he doesn't judge anyone, so no one else has the right to judge him. Now I take him out with pride and make sure that he enjoys his life!!

About lubna nawaz: Hello,I'm Lubna Nawaz ,mother of two boys name Haseeb and Hashim both are autistic and are Special Olympics Pakistan athletes. I am also part of the family support network of Special Olympics Pakistan.
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September 04, 2014 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

Umair Ahmed Shaikh

By Aisha Bandukda

Umair's siblings do not have any disabilities and his mother was very worried as he was unable to cope with his work. After joining Special Olympics Pakistan, a noticeable change could be seen as he made many new friends on the grounds.View Story Umair Ahmed Shaikh, 23, has been a part of SPECIAL OLYMPICS PAKISTAN for 15 years. He helps out with office and kitchen work. His academic qualifications include passing Intermediate level. Sir Arif was training at his school, 'Danish Gha' and that is how his family was introduced to Special Olympics Pakistan. His siblings do not have any disabilities and his mother was very worried as he was unable to cope with his work. She admitted him in a special school where his improvement was very slow. After joining Special Olympics Pakistan, a noticeable change could be seen as he made many new friends on the grounds. He excelled in Basketball to the point of being selected for the world games (Athens 2011), where he won a silver medal, confirming that people with intellectual disabilities are as good as any other, if given a chance. He currently trains other special children in basketball. His family and friends encourage others to join the programme.

About Aisha Bandukda: I am Aisha Bandukda, currently enrolled at IBA and I work as a volunteer at Special Olympics Pakistan.
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June 30, 2014 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

The Lady Who Has Inspired Me a Lot

By jasmine Sharif

Hi, my name is Jasmine Sharif. I am a Special Olympics athlete. There is a lady who is bright and wise, always there throughout hard days and encourages all us athletes to do a lot.View Story Hi, my name is Jasmine Sharif. I am a Special Olympics athlete. There is a lady who is bright and wise, always there throughout hard days and encourages all us athletes to do a lot. Whenever I need her, she's always there, I love you, Tina Aunty. Tina Azim is the Family Support Network coordinator for Special Olympics Pakistan. I love her the most. Thank you Tina Aunty for everything of what you are and have done for me.

About jasmine Sharif: Hi, my name is Jasmine Sharif. I am a Special Olympics Pakistan athlete Board Member.
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May 23, 2014 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

Transforming Lives

By Lubna Nawaz

Haseeb with maam Ronak lakkani.

With the help of a Special Olympics volunteer in Pakistan, the mother of a boy with autism discovered how to make a closer bond at the same time he found growing confidence through a series of small successes.View Story This is the story of a 15-year-old boy with autism, Muhammad Haseeb Abbasi. Haseeb played bocce for Special Olympics in Pakistan. He represented Pakistan in the Special Olympics Asia Pacific Games in Australia in December 2013, where he won three gold medals. Haseeb was diagnosed with autism at the age of twelve years by Dr Catherine Aldred PhD. during our visit to to the United Kingdom. Prior to this all our efforts for the diagnosis of our children (we have two boys, and both of them are autistic) within Pakistan were in vain. Some of the symptoms were identifiable as early as 2 years and till 8 and half years, he was nonverbal. He attended a regular school till class 7 but the problem was his communication with the fellow students and teachers. He was noncommunicative, always wanted to sit alone in the class, never participated in any of the activities, obsessively lining up his toys in perfectly straight lines with no eye contact with anyone.

And so things were becoming difficult not only for him but for me also. I feared that I may never have a close relationship with my son, I didn’t know how to reach him and at times I felt helpless. Autism was a new term for us in Pakistan, and we knew very little about it. Presently there are hardly any specialist services or schools available for autistic individuals. The majority of the parents therefore are on their own.

Fortunately for me, with the help and motivation of a local Special Olympics coach, Mrs.Irfana Kayyani, I was introduced to the Special Olympics Pakistan Program. Now, I am a volunteer for Special Olympics Pakistan.

Special Olympics has changed Haseeb completely. It has instilled in him a desire to improve, to listen and to learn. Each small success has built his self confidence. Yes, Special Olympics Pakistan has taught him a lot, much more than I can ever imagine for him. Haseeb has now transformed into a confident individual who can hold conversations with strangers.

Special Olympics Pakistan is supported by an A Very Special Christmas grant.

About Lubna Nawaz: My name is Lubna Nawaz.  I am mother of Haseeb and now part of Family Support Network Special Olympics Pakistan.
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April 23, 2014 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

My achievements of Special Olympics

By Jasmine Sharif

I and my fellow friends went to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for Special Olympics Asia Pacific Athlete Input Council. It was really nice and Ben from Special Olympics Australia and I are the co-chairs.View Story Hi my name is Jasmine Sharif, and I am in Special Olympics since 7 years ...I and my fellow friends went to Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia for Special Olympics Asia Pacific Athlete Input Council. It was really nice and Ben from Special Olympics Australia and I are the co-chairs. We both feel awesome and feel honored about this all, its great success and great support Thank you, Special Olympics

About Jasmine Sharif: I am a Special Olympics athlete.
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December 27, 2013 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

What Special Olympics means to me

By Jasmine Sharif

Hi my name is Jasmine Sharif. A few days ago somebody asked me a question on what Special Olympics means to me. I said Special Olympics means a world of joy,a world of happiness, a world of freedom and most of all Special Olympics means a second home for all of us.View Story Hi my name is Jasmine Sharif. A few days ago somebody asked me a question on what Special Olympics means to me. I said Special Olympics means a world of joy,a world of happiness, a world of freedom and most of all Special Olympics means a second home for all of us. On the 27th of November I, along with my team Pakistan went for the Asia Pacific games. My sport was swimming I won a gold and 2 slivers. Over there, I met Mrs. Katrin Clark, Mrs.Yee, Ms. Karyan Tan, and Mr.Simon Koh. Theses days I am on the ALPs board of directors and I will work harder so I can go as a delegation to the World Games in 2015

About Jasmine Sharif: I am a board member of Alps
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November 13, 2013 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

My preparation for the Asia Pacific Games

By Jasmine Sharif

My unified partner and I at a local swimming meet

Our Pakistan team will be doing many sports but I will be doing 50 meters freestyle, 50 meters breaststroke, and 4x25 meters relay.View Story I am in the Special Olympics aquatics team in the Asia Pacific Games which are held in Australia Newcastle 1 December till 7. Our Pakistan team will be doing many sports but I will be doing 50 meters freestyle, 50 meters breaststroke, and 4x25 meters relay. Thank you Special Olympics Pakistan and Special Olympics Australia for having these games for all of us.

About Jasmine Sharif: My name is Jasmine Sharif I am in ALPs and am in the BOARD Member love to attend meetings
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September 18, 2013 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

How Mrs. Eunice Kennedy Shriver Changed My Life

By Jasmine Sharif

I met Mrs.Eunice Kennedy Shriver was in 2007 at the China World Games. She taught me so many things and she had inspired me so much and she opened my heart towards Special Olympics.View Story Hello my name is Jasmine Sharif, I am from Special Olympics Pakistan. The first time I met Mrs.Eunice Kennedy Shriver was in 2007 at the China World Games. She taught me so many things and she had inspired me so much and she opened my heart towards Special Olympics. ... Thank you, Mrs .Eunice Kennedy Shriver. You will always be remembered by all of us Special Olympics athletes .

About Jasmine Sharif: Hi my name is jasmine sharif , I am in the ALPs department ,and I am in the board
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September 03, 2013 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

Oxygen Of Life

By Khalid Shahzad

One day, I picked up white ball, and my teacher told me that I should throw it. I tried but never, many times a day. Then, there was Special Olympics.View Story I am living in a suburban area near the capital of Punjab (Lahore), in Pakistan. Mr Khalid Shahzad and his wife, Lubna, visited our home in 2007. At that time I did not know them. My mother and elder sister brought me in to their school in Shahdara (Dorothea center for Special Children). I started my school, and every day a school van picked me up and dropped me off. One day, I picked up white ball, and my teacher told me that I should throw it. I tried but never, many times a day. Then, there was Special Olympics. I threw that white ball, and I was stands at one possession. It was oxygen provided by Special Olympics Punjab and its volunteer team. As every parent has a dream for their daughter to seem normal but the society is always discouraging to the parents and sibling, but the role of Mr. and Mrs. Khalid Shahzad has promoted my parents' attitude to face the society and I prove to live as much better.

About Khalid Shahzad: Working for the empowerment of person with special needs without any religious discrimination, race, caste and creed. Providing them all necessary opportunities to my students.
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August 29, 2013 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

healthy smiles changed my life with a smile

By Jasmine Sharif

Today I helped at the Healthy Athletes Special Smiles. It was easy. Those special athletes brought a smile to my face.View Story Hi, my name is Jasmine Sharif. Today I helped at the Healthy Athletes Special Smiles. It was easy. Those special athletes brought a smile to my face. Irfan and I from the Athlete Leadership Program were there to help. I have learned a lot.

About Jasmine Sharif: hi my name is jasmine sharif , i am in the ALPS Board
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August 29, 2013 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

My fav person of Special Olympics Pakistan

By Jasmine Sharif

Tehmina aunty and us athletes

My name is Jasmine Sharif and I am a Special Olympics Pakistan athlete since the year 2005. In the past few years a new family member joined Special Olympics Pakistan.View Story Hi my name is Jasmine Sharif and I am a Special Olympics Pakistan athlete since the year 2005. In the past few years a new family member joined Special Olympics Pakistan. Her name is Tehmina Asim. Tehmina's son's name is Asim. Asim is in swimming. He is a good swimmer. All of us athletes like Tehmina aunty. She is very hard working to everyone, especially to me and my fellow athletes. I think that she should become our swim coach. She knows about everything, She is also good at cheering me up when ever I am down. She is one of my 3 favorite role models. 1 is Ronak aunty, and 2 is Nassim aunty. I love them so much. I love working in the Special Olympics Pakistan Office.

About Jasmine Sharif: My name is Jasmine Sharif. I am a BoardMember thanks to Ronak aunty and Nassim aunty.
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August 22, 2013 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

Special Lad turned into Rock Star

By Tehmina Azim

Abbas a Rock Star

He was shy but during music classes he was encouraged to sing and dance which led this young lad to finally perform on the stage. He performed like a rock star and his family could not believe the change.View Story An NGO "Hope" which comes under Nixor College official House Of Dreams welfare society organized a two week summer camp in June and a theater show by Special children on 8th July 2013.Twenty five children from Special Olympics Pakistan attended the camp and were taught arts & crafts and were given music classes. Abbas was one of the athletes from Special Olympics Pakistan and loved the music classes a lot. He was a shy guy but during music classes he was introduced to different instruments and was encouraged to sing and dance which led this young lad to finally perform on the stage. He performed like a Rock star and his family could not believe the change which led him to perform so well.The happiness cannot be captured in black and white but was evident in the live performances put up by the athletes of Special Olympics Pakistan, that if given a chance the stardom is achieved and so did Abbas with a huge round of applause by the excited audience.Well done Abbas as you made us all proud because of your Superb Performance.

About Tehmina Azim: I am the Global Family Leader of Asia Pacific and the National Coordinator of Family Support Network Special Olympics Pakistan.
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July 26, 2013 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

My Special Olympics Story

By Jasmine

My visiting card

Hi my name is Jasmine Sharif. I have been in Special Olympics Pakistan since 8 years and my sport is swimming. In 2007, I went to China for the World Summer Games and I won two gold medals for my country. In 2008, I joined the Athlete Leadership Program.View Story Hi my name is Jasmine Sharif. I have been in Special Olympics Pakistan since 8 years and my sport is swimming. In 2007, I went to China for the World Summer Games and I won two gold medals for my country. In 2008, I joined the Athlete Leadership Program. In 2011, I attended the ALPS meeting in Singapore. My parents, my delegations, Tehmina Azim -- they all really encourage me a lot -- now I am preparing to go for the Asia Pacific Games to be held in Australia. I can't wait! And due to my hard work, I have been selected to the board and will be trying to become an International Global Messenger for Special Olympics. I am really loving it a lot. I ❤ my Special Olympics Pakistan

About Jasmine: My name is Jasmine Sharif. I am in the ALPs (athlete leadership program). Thank you Nassim aunty, Ronak aunty, Tehmina aunty, mommy. I ❤ you all
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July 19, 2013 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

The Freedom to Play, to Learn, to Smile

By Kate McKenna

Waheed and Zia are getting outside more and learning to play ball after Special Olympics volunteers paid their family an encouraging visit.

In some parts of Pakistan, children with intellectual disabilities are not valued as they should be valued. For one family, this led them to feel ashamed of their sons with intellectual disabilities.View Story In some parts of Pakistan, children with intellectual disabilities are not valued as they should be valued. For one family, this led them to feel ashamed of their sons with intellectual disabilities. The parents also did not know how to keep the boys safe when they went to work.They kept them chained – chained literally and many other ways -- at home so the children would not be seen and mistreated. The two brothers stayed chained at home, even as they grew into young men. This went on for 10 years. Some Special Olympics volunteers heard about this situation and paid the family a visit. The Special Olympics volunteers were able to talk to the family and encourage them. Since then, Special Olympics volunteers have been urging the parents to bring these young men – now ages 19 and 22 -- out into the world. One volunteer says, “We have been trying to bring some positivity to the young men’s lives by providing them with sports items and other things to help keep them busy."
The parents have been inspired to get more involved in determining their children’s future. They recently traveled two days to attend a Special Olympics family summit in Karachi, where they met other families who have experienced the same kinds of struggles with finding acceptance and activities for their children. The parents are also feeling reassured about their sons’ skills and abilities. As one volunteer puts it, “This is what life is all about:  to share joy and happiness.”  

About Kate McKenna: Director, Editorial and Multimedia
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June 28, 2013 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

Being a Special Olympics Pakistan Athlete how it has changed my life

By Jasmine Sharif. Am the Alps Board and I also work in Alps department

Being a part of Special Olympics Pakistan athlete has taught me so many things about life. If I step out of the invisible circle which is Special Olympics then I feel scared, alone and sad.View Story Being a part of Special Olympics Pakistan athlete has taught me so many things about life. I am living in a dreamworld where there is no one. But if I step out of the invisible circle which is Special Olympics then I feel scared, alone and sad. But when I am inside the circle I feel happy and safe. I don't feel scared any more because I know that I have my special families and friends and our sweet and hard working delegations. With them I have so much fun. I love to help them. Sometimes I feel that the kids who are special too and who are not with us in Special Olympics call me for help and I talk to them. There are my invisible friends , they also talk to me then I try to help them. And sometimes it works too ....... If I wasn't in the special Olympics I wonder what my life would be like I❤Special Olympics Pakistan ..

About Jasmine Sharif. Am the Alps Board and I also work in Alps department : Hi I am jasmine sharif , I am in the special Olympics alps board
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May 28, 2013 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

Rising Star of ALPS

By Jasmine Sharif

Jasmine with Zafar

Zafar has been registered with Special Olympics for the last one year and has now joined the Athlete Leadership training program and is being trained in the special office nowadays.View Story Zafar's age is 18 years old. His father's name is Iqbal and his mother's name is Akhtar. He has four sisters and four brothers. He has been studying in Bahria special education. Zafar has been registered with Special Olympics for the last one year and has now joined the Athlete Leadership training program and is being trained in the special office nowadays. His speech has improved and he has become smart and confident. He is a willing boy and always ready to do all the jobs. He is very regular. He is a responsible boy and does his job in an efficient manner. We pray that he gets more confident, we are trying to teach him money handling and will do it by himself very soon.

About Jasmine Sharif: Jasmine Sharif is in the Special Olympics Board of the Athlete Leadership Program. I am Tehmina Azim, currently working as a volunteer at Special Olympics Pakistan and I am the National Coordinator of Family Support Network and now have been nominated as GFL of SOAP from 2013-2015.
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May 28, 2013 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

How Special Olympics Pakistan has changed my life style

By Jasmine

Hi my name is Jasmine. I have been in Special Olympics for eight years. Without Special Olympics I wonder what my life would be like.View Story Hi my name is Jasmine. I have been in Special Olympics for eight years. Before I joined I was very weak and shy. And due to the hard work of my beloved Special Olympics Pakistan delegations and staff, I have become more confident. In 2007 I went to China for the summer games and I won 2 golds for my country in swimming. Due to hard work I joined the Athlete Leadership Program in 2007 & in 2011 I went to Singapore for the ALPS conferences. And now I work in Special Olympics in the ALPS department, and I have been made the athlete board member. I also train new athletes in speechless and I love it. Without Special Olympics I wonder what my life would be like. We all athletes should realize of how hard our delegations work day and night for all of us ..........

About Jasmine: I ❤Special Olympics. Pakistan
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May 20, 2013 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

Proud Achievement of a Special Boy

By Tehmina Azim

Umer with his Shield

Umer Javed Happily showing off his Memento (Shield) and a certificate with a caption claiming his successfully completing 5 years of service with SKMT.View Story Umer Javed Happily showing off his Memento (Shield) and a certificate with a caption claiming his successfully completing 5 years of service with SKMT. Umer Javed Is not an ordinary person he is CP (Mentally Challenged) child who was selected from the students of Rising Sun Institute. He was picked up in open competition by the team from SKMT trained as Patient Guide (First time in Pakistan that such kind of person was selected. He performed his duties diligently and was awarded the shield with monetary benefit of half salary. Umer was also selected for Special games in the year 2008 in Bocce event and unfortunately was withdrawn when his father got admitted in hospital seriously sick.Umer mother is working as a vocational teacher in Special school and is the coordinator of Family Support Network in Lahore(Punjab Pakistan) for last one year and is working hard in bringing families and Athletes from rural areas to join our Special Olympics program.She is the proud MOM of a proud Son.

About Tehmina Azim: I am Tehmina Azim and presently working as National Coordinator of Family Support Network at Special Olympics Pakistan.I am also the new Global Family Leader of South Asia Pacific.
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February 05, 2013

Pride, Abilities, Talents

By Karyn Tan

Chaperone Dani (left) with Athlete Danish.

The Global Youth Activation Summit brought out the best in its participants; it stretched their abilities and revealed new talents.View Story The Global Youth Activation Summit brought out the best in its participants; it stretched their abilities and revealed new talents. Radif Rizvi, a GYAS partner from Pakistan, was amazed at his time in Pyeongchang: “Coming here, I had no idea it was going to be this much fun, meet so many people, make so many friends, I really didn’t know I had the confidence to go up on stage and talk. This is my first time. I don’t have public speaking experience.” Adds Chaperone Alvi Daniyal (Dani): “I’ve been volunteering for seven years, and this is my first time at the Summit. I’ve gotten great ideas from these friends to continue our Youth Activation efforts in Pakistan.” For athlete Danish Mahmood, the Summit is about “making Pakistan proud,” telling people about his country, and help spread the GYAS word on Social Media. We hope Team Pakistan will take their new learnings and share the word!

About Karyn Tan: I am Communications Manager for Asia Pacific, cheering on the athletes at the Winter Games.
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February 03, 2013 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

My Life

By jasmine sharif

Without Special Olympics, I wonder what my life would be.View Story My name is Jasmine Sharif, I am a Special Olympics Pakistan athlete and in 2005 I joined Special Olympics Pakistan. In the year 2007, I went to China for the world summer games . My sport was swimming and I won 2 gold medals for my county. Without Special Olympics, I wonder what my life would be. In 2008, I joined ALPS. Due to the hard work, I got selected for the ALPSs conference which was held in 2011. I love Special Olympics Pakistan.

About jasmine sharif: I am a Special Olympics Pakistan athlete
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February 02, 2013 | Asia Pacific: Pakistan

Global Family Leaders Summit Day 5

By tehmina azim

I am attending the SOWWG at south korea in Alpensia.The Koreans are very welcoming,passionate people.Today was the fifth day of our training program and the Korean families were invited too.View Story I am attending the SOWWG at South Korea in Alpensia. The Koreans are very welcoming,passionate people.Today was the fifth day of our training program and the Korean families were invited too.Everyone introduced themselves.Since this program is new here so the families were provided necessary information by all.The families were given a nice lunch with the SOI staff and all regional directors of SOI. After the lunch the global family messenger welcomed the guests and Fun-Shun Lee East Asia Pacific,Representative GFL 2011-2013 shared his experiences.Than Hanna Garises Africa Representative,GFL 2011-2013 &2013-2015 shared her over view.Lter on Maureen Webber North America Representative,GFL 2013-2015 talked about her goals and missions to be accomplished in the upcoming years.In the end the out going Global Family Leaders were presented with silver bowls and the incoming ones with silver souvenirs.It was a nice reception for all to carry good memories and motivation for the SO mission.

About tehmina azim: I am Tehmina Azim from Pakistan.I am the national coordinator of Family Support Network at Special Olympics Pakistan since 2012.I have been designated as the Global Family Leader of the Asia Pacific from 2013-2015.I have a Down Syndrome son Asim Zar who is 25 years old.He joined Special Olympics when he was 5 years old.He went to Summer World Olympics 2007 and won two silver medals.He joined Alps program and is now a permanent employee of "DanPak"food company.
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January 15, 2013 | SOI General: Headquarters

Welcoming Seven Countries to Winter Games

By Will Schermerhorn

The Special Hands Project is bringing athletes and others from seven developing countries to Korea. These seven countries have never before participated in a Special Olympics World Winter Games.View Story The Special Hands Project, founded and supported by Special Olympics World Winter Games PyeongChang 2013 Organizing Committee, is bringing athletes and others from seven developing countries to Korea. The seven countries have never before participated in a Special Olympics World Winter Games.

 Also taking part are government officials from each of the seven countries. The athletes of the seven countries taking part in the Special Hands Project may also be participating in some sports and non-sports activities.

 One of the seven countries is Papua New Guinea.  The Special Olympics organization there is a Founding Committee and aspires to be an accredited Special Olympics Program.  

"There are many people with intellectual disabilities in the rural areas who are afraid to come out and participate in our programs," said Sophia Tuna, Interim Secretary/Treasurer for the founding committee in Papua New Guinea.

"I believe this Special Olympics program will encourage them to do so because it is targeted towards this special group and it involves everyone and it encourages participation, friendship and team work."

These countries are taking part: Cambodia, Mongolia, Nepal, Pakistan, Papua New Guinea, Thailand and Vietnam.

About Will Schermerhorn: I am director of web products for Special Olympics.
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