SPECIAL Olympics Tanzania (SOT) will soon start implementing Play Unified, Learn Unified project which aims at encouraging inclusive development of people with intellectual disabilities in sports and other spheres of life.
This was revealed yesterday by SOT National Director Charles Rays who said the initiative will run for three years with funding from the Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF).
"The first phase will see us running a number of activities in five regions which are Dar es Salaam, Morogoro, Tanga, Mtwara and Mwanza where in each region, we will be educating people about the importance of inclusion from the identified schools," Rays said.
He added: "For a long time, intellectual disabled people have been sidelined in various social and economic activities despite them having capacity to do any task provided they are given a chance to do so."
He said Special Olympics already identified sports as the best ingredient which helps a lot to empower intellectually disadvantaged persons as it builds their confidence, enables them to get new friends, strengthen their bodies and most importantly, it tackles discrimination.
"As you know, early this year, we competed in Special Olympics World Games in Abu Dhabi where our athletes did well by winning more medals.
"This achievement has helped a lot to create a sense awareness among members of the public who are now seeing potential from the intellectual disabled people that they can achieve great things when given platform to shine," he said.
According to him, Tanzania will be the second country in Africa to embrace the project which he said is currently bearing tangible fruits in Kenya.