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Community Impact

Global Coalition for Inclusion Signed in Ghana and Seychelles

Two men holding a signed agreement, with two men standing alongside
Helen Ernesta, National Director of Special Olympics Seychelles, Charles Nyambe, President and Managing Director of Africa Region, Maryse Berlouis, athlete of Special Olympics Seychelles, and Marie-Celine Zialor, Honorable Minister of Youth, Sports, and Family.

Special Olympics Ghana hosted the first signing in the Special Olympics (SO) Africa Region of the Global Coalition for Inclusion with the Republic of Ghana on 27 November 2023. The Ghana Education Service of the Republic of Ghana has ratified its commitment to advancing inclusive education through Unified Sports as an inaugural member of the Coalition. In partnership with Special Olympics Ghana, they will help bring Unified Sports and inclusive education to over 100 schools across the country, engaging 15,000 youth participants and providing specialized inclusive education training for hundreds of teachers and physical educators.

The invited guests to the ceremony included the Director General for Education Dr. Eric Nkansah, Deputy Director General Stephen Kwaku Owusu, the Ministry of Education, the Special Education Division, the National Sports Authority, Lions Club District 418 Governor Kate Baaba Hudson, Special Olympics athletes, board members and members of the media and business community.

Four man stand holding a signed agreement
Stephen Kwaku Owusu, Deputy Director General of the Ghana Education Service, Dr Ebenezer Owusu, Board Chair of Special Olympics Ghana, Isaac Quansah Otchere, athlete leader of Special Olympics Ghana, and Charles Nyambe, President and Managing Director of Africa Region.

In his speech, Dr Nkansah stated, "I am pleased that this Coalition is designed to bring the power of social inclusion to schools, community centers and sports clubs around the world, and for that matter, Ghana, in alignment with the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the full achievement of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. On behalf of the Ghana Education Services, I want to appreciate all our development partners for their diverse roles in supporting us to live up to our mandate which is to ensure that we make education accessible to all children in Ghana without discrimination. I want to single out the Stavros Niarchos Foundation and Special Olympics for the significant role they have played in securing a membership spot for Ghana in the Special Olympics Global Leadership Coalition for Inclusion. We appreciate you!”

The second government to sign the Global Coalition was the Republic of Seychelles on 4 December 2023. The Honorable Minister of Youth, Sports and Family, Marie-Celine Zialor pledged her commitment to meeting the goals of the Project. “It is one thing to be interested in something and another to be committed, and we are committed to the Global Coalition for Inclusion,” she said.

The signing was witnessed by the First Lady of the Seychelles, representatives from three Ministries, Lions Clubs International, Special Olympics athletes, family members and board members, the media and other invited guests. Minister Zialor said the project received unanimous approval in Parliament as the introduction of Unified Schools and inclusive education projects will transform the local community into a better place for all, and her aim is to institutionalize the content of the Global Coalition into national policy. Following the signing, the President and Managing Director of SO Africa Region, Charles Nyambe, conducted orientation and training with seven staff members from the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Family and the board of Special Olympics Seychelles.

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