First Lady Esther Lungu donates to Special Olympics Athletes
First Lady Esther Lungu, on Saturday 3rd December, 2016 donated K15, 000 to the 150 children with intellectual disabilities who are part of the Special Olympics Zambia.
Making the donation shortly after gracing the 2016 Special Olympics and UNICEF Zambia “Unified Sports Day” whose theme was “Inclusive Sports, Inclusive Communities, Empowerment for All” held at the Olympic Youth Development Centre (OYDC) the first lady expressed happiness towards children with intellectual disabilities’ participation in various sporting activities.
She said it was an honor to grace the event that brings together children with or without disabilities adding that she saw joy, enthusiasm and determination among the children.
The first lady added that children with special needs are discriminated throughout the world adding that they do not have access to education, health, clean water and sanitation hence the need to support them in society.
During the event, the first lady took part in the unified race with children with intellectual disabilities and later presented medals to those who participated in all the activities for their outstanding performances.
And the first lady paid gratitude to the United Nations International Children Emergence Fund (UNICEF) and Special Olympics for showing the world that children with special needs are well supported.
In addition, the first lady said that it is the responsibility of the government to formulate adequate policies that promote equity services to cater for everyone in the country regardless of their status in society.
Speaking earlier, UNICEF Country representative Hamid El-Bashir Ibrahim said he was equally happy to note that the Olympic Youth Development Centre recognises children with disabilities to be among children without abilities.
El-Bashir further said UNICEF remains committed to providing resources for children with disabilities in partnership with government, non-governmental organization to highlight the need for increased action, improved policies and mobilization in support of children with intellectual disabilities and their families.
He thanked parents of children with disabilities who managed to bring them to the multi sports facility to showcase their talents.
Meanwhile, Special Olympic Zambia Vice Chairman Clement Chileshe, encouraged parents not to hide their children with special needs stating that they deserve to be appreciated in society
Chileshe, has since applauded to other corporate partner s to emulate UNICEF and consider supporting children with Special needs.
He disclosed that his oragnisation currently has a total of 3000 children with special needs of which some reaped silver medals during international Games.
And Violet Bwalya, who represented children couldn’t hold her joy to announce the support Special Olympics Zambia has been offering to them.
The children also underwent health checks which included eye, ear nose and mouth screenings.
Special Olympics is founded on the belief that people with intellectual disabilities can, with proper instruction and encouragement, learn, enjoy and benefit from participation in individual and team sports.
Special Olympics also believes that through millions of individual acts of inclusion where people with and without intellectual disabilities are brought together, long-standing myths are dispelled, negative attitudes changed and new opportunities to embrace and celebrate people with intellectual disabilities are created.