Foundation picks Kenya for Special Olympics project
Kenyan athletes living with intellectual disabilities are poised to enjoy better facilities in schools after Golisano Foundation picked the country for its Special Olympics Healthy Community Initiative.
Shunned by society and plagued by less than supportive public utilities, people with intellectual disabilities face significant challenges accessing quality health-care, resulting in pronounced health disparities and reduced life expectancy.
They have fallen victim to secondary health conditions such as impaired vision that renders their lives more difficult.
Because of the growing indifference shown by the government, the task of providing access to health services for people with intellectual disabilities has fallen largely on non-governmental and private organisations.
Special Olympics Kenya has been working with several organisations including the Golisano Foundation, one of the largest private foundations in the USA devoted exclusively to supporting programmes for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities, to help address this challenge and help athletes achieve their goals not only on the playing field, but in life.
Speaking during her tour of the country, Ann Costello, Executive Director of the Golisano Foundation, emphasised the importance for athletes with intellectual disabilities having first priority when it comes to matters of health.
“Our Foundation is devoted exclusively to helping people with intellectual disabilities by supporting organisations such as Special Olympics, and we feel that they have tremendous reach and ability to help improve health for athletes with intellectual disabilities,” she said.
According to Costello, it is difficult for athletes with intellectual disabilities to access health care not only in Kenya, but even in the United States.