It was fun and excitement as Special Olympics Nigeria recently hosted a series of activities in an effort to mark the World AIDS Day 2016. The initiative, supported by Exxon Mobil, partnering grassroots soccer, deploys soccer as an effective platform for bringing together and providing young Nigerians especially people with intellectual disability with relevant information about HIV/AIDS prevention and treatment, as well as basic life-saving skills.
The event which was held at the Igbobi College, Yaba had in attendance tens of intellectually disabled children participating in unified soccer tournaments, family health forum, health talks with demonstrations, HIV and malaria tests plus provision of available treatment, voluntary counselling, award of medals and distribution of mosquito nets.
This is part of the ExxonMobil HIV/Malaria Initiative which Special Olympics Nigeria has been implementing in Special Schools/Centers including some Regular Schools in Lagos State. The Initiative involves working with Partners, to educate our athletes on HIV and malaria through a medium of sports.
According to Special Olympic Nigeria’s National Director, Naomi Saliu-Lawal, “the World. Aids day programme is part of our outreach to promote good health, prevent the spread of HIV\AIDS through awareness and medical test carried out on our athletes . We thank our corporate partners who have made this event a success and look forward to their continued support as we go on”
Special Olympics Nigeria, is part of a worldwide movement (Special Olympics international) that aims at changing the negative attitude and misconceptions of people with intellectual disabilities. It’s mission is to provide year-round sports training and athletics competitions in a variety of Olympic – type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continued opportunities to develop physical fitness; demonstrate courage; experience joy; participate in sharing of gifts and skills; and share friendship with other athletes and their family members in their immediate community, country and in the world at large.