As part of the global partnership between Special Olympics and UNICEF, a national partnership agreement was recently signed in Rwanda – the first in Africa – with a focus on the Special Olympics Healthy Athletes program. Special Olympics Rwanda has provided eye, dental and general health checks as well as information on nutrition and well-being. “I remember seeing the Healthy Athletes program in 2011, and I thought it was fantastic,” said UNICEF Rwanda Representative, Noala Skinner. “so when Special Olympics Rwanda approached us, we were delighted to join forces”.
Under the Ministry of Sports and Culture, Special Olympics Rwanda, with support from UNICEF, has provided services to over 80 children with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics and UNICEF raise awareness of the needs facing individuals with intellectual disabilities, and call upon governments to include this population in development plans. They currently share partnership agreements in 25 countries.
I serve as the Vice President for Global Development and Government Relations at Special Olympics.