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UAE Foundation and Special Olympics UAE promote social inclusion through events – News

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The initiative brings together students with and without intellectual disabilities from preschool to college to create acceptable school environments


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published: Sunday, May 28, 2023 at 3:11 pm

A series of events will be held across the country to strengthen Special Olympics’ social inclusion programs, support people of determination and improve the quality of services provided to them.

Ahmed Al Shamsi, Chief Executive Officer of the UAE Foundation, and Talal Al Hashemy, National Director of Special Olympics UAE, signed a memorandum of understanding to launch a year-round partnership to promote and deliver as part of the Special Olympics Unified Champion School (UCS) activities) program.

The program is a preschool-to-college initiative that promotes social inclusion by bringing together students with and without intellectual disabilities in order to create an acceptable school environment that relies on three interrelated elements: Special Olympics Unified sports, inclusive youth leadership, and whole-school engagement. It employs a strategy that unifies all students, using sport as a catalyst for social inclusion and attitude and behavior change.

The Emirates Foundation will support the initiative by managing a year-round volunteer program to deliver successful UCS events across the country, including Unified Sports and Unified Robotics.

“The UAE Foundation has a proud history of supporting Special Olympics, dating back to our key role in Special Olympics World Games 2019. Through this new partnership with Special Olympics UAE, we are able to Get involved with bringing joy and inclusion to schoolchildren across the UAE with our national volunteers and diverse talent in life-changing UCS programmes,” said Al Shamsi.

The partnership reaffirms Special Olympics’ passion to strengthen its ambitious social inclusion programs and promote positive behavior through a comprehensive set of initiatives that focus on sport as a positive.

“We are confident that our collaboration and partnership with the UAE Foundation will help achieve the goals of Special Olympics,” Al Hashemi noted.

As part of an ongoing partnership between the two parties, 92 volunteers donated their time and talents this month in support of the Unified Sports League Finals. 240 student-athletes with and without intellectual disabilities from the Emirates Schools Establishment played futsal and badminton over two days at the 321 Sports Dome in Abu Dhabi.

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