Special Olympics Nigeria in partnership with Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited has launched its Youth Empowerment initiative.

At a colourful event hosted by the Southern Sun Ikoyi Hotel and graced by dignitaries including members of Special Olympics Nigeria board of directors, partners, athletes and their parents, the initiative was unveiled with its benefits.

The Special Olympics Nigeria Youth Empowerment Initiative which is a brainchild of the organization with support from Esso Exploration and Production Nigeria Limited is meant to empower its athletes with intellectual disability to receive necessary job skills relevant to attaining mastery in their respective interest and expertise.

It would also enable athletes secure a sustainable means of livelihood by offering each candidate a skill-set of choice to cultivate. Ultimately, this would reduce the athlete’s overall dependency on loved ones and family members by empowering them with valuable skillset relevant to self-reliance and actualisation.

Speaking at the event, Chairman, Board of Directors, Special Olympics Nigeria, Mr. Victor Gbolade Osibodu, thanked Esso Exploration Nigeria Limited for their support of the initiative. He also commended volunteers, Care givers, Nurses who have devoted their time whenever requested. “It is our belief that with the support of all we would achieve the goals and objectives of this youth empowerment initiative. These athletes would be able to do more and contribute their quota to society” he stated

According to the Naomi Saliu-Lawal, National Director Special Olympics Nigeria, “we embarked on this youth empowerment program to enable our athletes acquire vocational skills and mentorship experience. Seasoned instructors and mentors have been carefully chosen in the categories of empowerment coverage including catering, sewing, hairdressing, barbing, photography, bead work and academics across various vocational centres in Lagos.”

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.