Africa

Special Olympics has 21 accredited programs addressing the needs of African people with an intellectual disability in the areas of sport, health, education and leadership. Special Olympics contributes significantly in addressing the correlation between disability and poverty, a key issue for the continent.

Stories From Africa


April 16, 2014 | Africa: South Africa

Bringing Advocacy to Action: Special Olympics and the Secretariat for the African Decade for Persons with Disabilities

By David Evangelista

As follow up to the African Leaders Forum on Disability, Special Olympics has begun discussions with the Secretariat for the African Decade for Persons with Disabilities (SADPD).View Story As follow up to the African Leaders Forum on Disability, Special Olympics has begun discussions with the Secretariat for the African Decade for Persons with Disabilities (SADPD). Special Olympics and the SADPD are working together to bolster the level of government awareness, and action, in support of people with intellectual disabilities, and have committed to collaborating on the promotion of the Lilongwe Declaration and the development of the African Leaders Alliance on Intellectual Disability, an emerging coalition led by HE President Joyce Banda of Malawi. As part of the initial exploratory meeting, Special Olympics and the SADPD spoke with Beyond 2015, a civil society campaign pushing for a strong successor to the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). Special Olympics and the SADPD impressed upon the group the importance of ensuring that the next set of MDGs targets the most marginalized groups, ensuring equity and increased impact across all development indicators.

About David Evangelista:I serve as Vice President, Global Development and Government Relations for Special Olympics International
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April 04, 2014 | Africa: South Africa

Special Olympics South Africa Athlete and Unified partner win Golf Tournament

By Mmane Boikanyo

Special Olympics South Africa golfer Konrad Zastrau and Coach/Unified partner Nico Van Eeden

Special Olympics South Africa golfer Konrad Zastrau and Coach Nico Van Eeden who was playing the role of a Unified partner, won the annual Member Guest Tournament at Oubaai Golf Club in George this past weekend.View Story Special Olympics South Africa golfer Konrad Zastrau and Coach Nico Van Eeden who was playing the role of a Unified partner, won the annual Member Guest Tournament at Oubaai Golf Club in George this past weekend. Konrad and Nico had to compete with approximately 72 players and they did not disappoint. The two day tournament saw Konrad and his coach of six years winning the tournament by 6 shots. Before the last day of the competition Conrad pulled his coach to the side and said: “I am going to try my best. Don’t forget to always be happy and brave in the attempt.” The Special Olympics athlete won a silver medal for golf in the level 5 Stroke Play-Division A at the 2011 Special Olympics World Summer Games which were hosted in Athens. While his Unified partner and coach Nico was Head Coach of the South African golf team in Athens. The victory is a clear indication of the power of Unified Sports. With proper training and more opportunities to compete athletes can become winners! Special Olympics Unified Sports® is an inclusive sports program that combines an approximately equal number of Special Olympics athletes (individuals with intellectual disabilities) and partners (individuals without intellectual disabilities) on teams for training and competition. Konrad didn’t just win on the field he also won the hearts of many. His opponents were really amazed by his sportsmanship and his standard of play. The Special Olympics golfer is very ecstatic about his victory, he said: “I’m very happy about winning and I’ll continue to be brave in my attempts on the field.”

About Mmane Boikanyo:Marketing and Communications Officer
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April 04, 2014 | Africa: South Africa

Athletes in South Africa Pass Referees Test

By Mmane Boikanyo

Special Olympics South Africa Athlete Leaders who received training

In the previous year Special Olympics South Africa athletes attended a 3 day referee’s football workshop in order to become qualified football referees with the assistance of SAFA Official Jack Leboko.View Story In the previous year Special Olympics South Africa athletes attended a 3 day referee’s football workshop in order to become qualified football referees with the assistance of SAFA Official Jack Leboko. The athletes had a revision session prior to writing their test on the 21st February 2014 to help athletes remember theory more easily. Conceptual Eyes assisted instructor Jack Leboko with live drawing to help athletes understand the laws of the game easier through visual stimulation. The athletes made everyone proud as they ALL managed to pass the SAFA Level 1 Referees test. The physical aspect of the test may have not been easy for George Lesotho but he soldiered through. He had this to share “I am extremely happy that I passed and I look forward to having challenging debates about football as I understand the sport better.” “Athletes were prepared, they had courage and their mentors motivated them. Now it’s up to the athletes to go implement what they have learnt on the field of

About Mmane Boikanyo:Marketing and Communications Officer
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April 01, 2014 | Africa: Malawi

Malawi government partners with Special Olympics Malawi.

By Mr Peter Mazunda

A highlight of the African Leaders Forum on Disability was the official signing of the first ever national protocol agreement between a Special Olympics program and its National Government.View Story A highlight of the African Leaders Forum on Disability was the official signing of the first ever national protocol agreement between a Special Olympics program and its National Government. The agreement between the Government of Malawi and Special Olympics Malawi was signed and witnessed by Her Excellency, President Joyce Banda, Special Olympics Chairman, Dr Tim Shriver, Chairman of Special Olympics Malawi, Mr Peter Mazunda and Special Olympics Malawi athletes, Ms. Mphatso Chipwanya , Mr. Innocent Chilonge and Mr. Chisomu Matenje. Special Olympics will work with the Ministry of Gender, the Ministry of Health, the Ministry of Sports, the Ministry of Education, and the Ministry of Disability to create a better environment for people with an intellectual disability in Malawi.

About Mr Peter Mazunda :Special Olympics Malawi National Director
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March 31, 2014 | Africa: Malawi

The first ever African Leaders Forum on Disability takes place in Malawi.

By Mr Peter Mazunda

The Republic of Malawi in partnership with Special Olympics hosted the first ever African Leaders Forum on Disability, firmly placing the plight of individuals with disabilities, namely intellectual and developmental disabilities on the global development agenda.View Story In February this year, Her Excellency President Joyce Banda, of the Republic of Malawi in partnership with Special Olympics hosted the first ever African Leaders Forum on Disability; firmly placing the plight of individuals with disabilities, namely intellectual and developmental disabilities on the global development agenda. In attendance were representatives from Ministerial office from 12 African nations, namely; Namibia, Uganda, Seychelles, Mauritius, Togo, Tanzania, Botswana, Malawi and South Africa. The forum also included strong delegations from UNICEF, UNAIDS, the International Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies, USAID, Lions Club International, Catholic Relief Services, The African Development Bank and many more. This was indeed a call to humanity to help build a fair and just society, which includes all its citizens not because of their physical or mental conditions but on the basis of the content of their ability and to be able to access all benefits. At the close of the African Leaders Forum on Disability two key strategic initiatives were launched by Her Excellency President Joyce Banda, firstly to lead development goal setting for the disability population, and secondly, the formation of the African Leaders Alliance on Intellectual Disability. The Alliance will create a formal body consisting of other Heads of States/Government that will make official recommendations to the African Union on ways to help improve the lives of people with an Intellectual Disability.

About Mr Peter Mazunda :Special Olympics Malawi National Director
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