Special Olympics Rwanda, an organization that serves athletes with intellectual disabilities through sports, is among six countries worldwide that have got a financial support granted by the President of the United Arab Emirates, Khalifa Ben Zayed Al Nahyane, whereby students with disabilities will play together with students without disabilities, in a four-year program called “MBZ Unified Champion Schools” by which the management of Special Olympics Rwanda expects a positive effect.
Schools are urged to not miss out on such a helpful opportunity brought by Special Olympics Rwanda in partnership with the Ministry of Education, aiming at the basis of sports for all countrywide.
“They should profit from this initiative to further uphold sports for all students” said Pastor Deus Sangwa, Chairman of Special Olympics Rwanda.
This program of ‘Unified Championship Schools’ will be conducted in 400 schools. Rwanda has received $600,000 I.e., Rwf587,546,969.
The program will include different sports namely: football, Boccia and Athletics. Hosting schools will be provided with required kits in order to have a sustainable condition for the games.
Among other countries beneficiaries of the support in the “MBZ Unified Champion Schools” program include: Argentina, India, Egypt, Pakistan and Romania.
Speaking to Impamba on March 10, 2021, Pastor Deus Sangwa, the Chairman of Special Olympics Rwanda explained the criteria at which Rwanda was chosen for such a funding.
“The principle on which Rwanda was chosen to be part of the six countries to benefit from the funding is based on our mission which includes bringing together people with & without disabilities in games. With that unity and cohesion in games, it serves as a weapon to combat stigma and discrimination against people with disabilities,” he said.
“Being included in these six countries worldwide shows how Rwanda is keen on promoting sports in schools, as it is also among the visons of the Sports Ministry,” he added.
Pastor Sangwa says he expects this program (MBZ Unified Champion Schools) to bring a positive impact during the strategic four years, for both categories of people (with and without disabilities) where every individual will feel no stigma and discrimination in sports, the feeling of brotherhood without fear of facing any kind of discrimination especially regarding mental disability.
“MBZ Unified Champion Schools” program has been inaugurated in 40 schools in total, in Kigali, and has been expanded to the Eastern Province.