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Unified Schools

In 2018, Special Olympics continued to empower youth and educators to be leaders of change through our Unified Schools program. The program is designed to promote social inclusion and social-emotional learning through inclusive sport in primary schools, secondary schools and universities worldwide. Because of partnerships with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, Hasbro, and the Inter-American Development Bank, this program has expanded to over 140 schools, engaging more than 20,000 students with and without intellectual disabilities in 12 countries.

  • In the first six months of the partnership with the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, over 75 Unified Schools were established in six countries including Bharat (India), Brazil, Chile, Hellas (Greece), Kenya, and Serbia. This collaboration is only the beginning. An additional eight countries are in progress of implementing programming in 2019.
Stavros Niarchos Foundation Grows Unified Schools Programs in Africa & Europe
Africa: Special Olympics Kenya established a key partnership with the Ministry of Education supporting the beginning stages of Unified Schools in Kenya. This has resulted in Special Olympics Kenya connecting with other education organizations, such as the Teachers Service Commission, to help achieve awareness and growth of Unified Schools.

Europe Eurasia: As part of European Basketball Week 2018, Special Olympics Hellas hosted an Interscholastic Basketball Tournament. This tournament brought together over 100 athletes and 66 teams from across Hellas to highlight newly created Unified Schools.

  • In the second year of partnership with Hasbro, more than 65 Unified Schools were created in eight countries. This program engaged over 7,000 students with and without intellectual disabilities in Bharat (India), Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Great Britain, Italy, and Mexico.
  • In the first year of the partnership with the Inter-American Development Bank (IADB) and the Japanese Fund for Poverty Reduction, the project engaged over 13,000 children with and without intellectual disabilities from 33 schools in Panama. In conjunction with the sports activities for students, more than 500 teachers and members of the education community were trained in facilitating and executing Special Olympics Unified Sports