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FanSided Spotlights Special Olympics Unified Sports with Refugees

Special Olympics Tanzania athletes pose for a picture holding Special Olympics Unified Sports flag.
On 21 June 2021, Special Olympics Tanzania celebrated World Refugee Day by hosting a Unified with Refugees event at the Nyarugusu Refugee Camp.

The following is an excerpt by FanSided from the article titled Unified with Refugees Brings Inclusion:

Many of these refugees came from communities with no real infrastructure or cultural integration for children or adults with intellectual disabilities. As Special Olympics worked to bring athletic opportunities to camps and welcome centers, they also found themselves offering early childhood development resources and programming for people with intellectual disabilities.

“That was what Thailand needed the most,” said David Evangelista, Regional President & Managing Director, Europe Eurasia. “And they didn’t offer Unified Sports, they offered inclusive ECD programming and family support. They were providing all sorts of health supplies, they were providing food, providing clothing, and it was about little children learning and finding gross motor skills.”

As the program blossomed beyond just sports, it became a global partnership with The UN Refugee Agency and is now a true “multi-thematic platform” offering “ECD programming for children, youth empowerment opportunities for youth of all abilities, sports, Family Health Education” and more.

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