To further expand the reach of the Play Unified: Learn Unified project, Special Olympics Tanzania has used the power of partnerships to engage more young people across the country. These partnerships have empowered Special Olympics Tanzania to recruit 136 new Unified Schools, each devoted to creating a culture of inclusion within its respective school community.
Establishing a culture of inclusion begins with identifying organizations that can provide resources and opportunities for youth to grow and develop. As part of the Play Unified: Learn Unified project, Special Olympics Tanzania has developed strong partnerships with organizations such as the Tanzania Volleyball Association, Tanzania Football Federation, Tanzania Scout Association, and the Don Bosco Youth Centre, which offers weekly activities for the children of Dar es Salaam. Special Olympics Tanzania has been able to leverage these collaborations to engage young people who would not be able to participate in Unified Sports otherwise.
For example, Special Olympics Tanzania and the Tanzania Scout Association have worked side-by-side to expand Special Olympics programing to engage young people across the country. The Association has a long history of supporting local youth and has grown to a network of over 2 million active youth across the country. The collaboration lead to 60 Scout Youth Leaders participating in Special Olympics Tanzania’s inclusive youth leadership workshop in November 2020. The training focused on understanding intellectual disability, and taught scouts and Special Olympics athletes alike how to lead with including others in mind. This training has enabled these Youth Leaders to spread the word of inclusion across their communities and bring more Youth Leaders into the Play Unified: Learn Unified project.
“We are pleased and delighted to have this precious opportunity to serve people with intellectual disabilities. We are grateful for this partnership with Special Olympics Tanzania and we will dedicate our resources to serve people with intellectual disabilities socially and economically.”
Special Olympics Tanzania and the Tanzania Scout Association will continue to provide opportunities for local youth to participate in skill development activities while gaining volunteers and Youth Leaders who believe in an inclusive community.
Gaining support from widely known organizations such as the Tanzania Scout Association has allowed Special Olympics Tanzania to directly engage over 7,000 Special Olympics athletes and partners in the Play Unified: Learn Unified project.