SO Pilipinas impact on individuals with intellectual disabilities is at the forefront of shaping special needs advocacy in the Philippines.
SO Pilipinas impact on individuals with intellectual disabilities is at the forefront of shaping special needs advocacy in the Philippines. Whether it’s individuals with intellectual disabilities winning medals or parents discovering new ways to educate, the impact of Special Olympics Pilipinas extends well beyond sports success.
Through a series of questions, explore more about the values driving SO Pilipinas’ unique journey and the concrete ways we contribute to the advocacy for intellectual disability in the Philippines.
Why Address the SO Pilipinas Impact on Individuals with Intellectual Disabilities?
Globally, 10% of the population live with a disability. Despite this significant presence, individuals with disabilities still encounter unfair discrimination, leading to exclusion from various aspects of life. In the Philippines, laws like the Magna Carta for Persons With Disabilities fall short of addressing the ongoing challenges faced by Filipinos with intellectual disabilities.
Even with legal protections, discrimination persists, and the expected social benefits for regular workers remain hard to attain. The idea that people with intellectual disabilities can’t contribute effectively to society is a misunderstanding that fuels this discrimination.
The United Nations had already previously stressed the positive impact of empowering individuals with disabilities, noting how their involvement benefits entire communities. But to change societal views, we need better implementation of existing laws and increased public awareness to erase the social stigma that individuals in this marginalized sector still endure.
Why use sports to champion social inclusion?
While sports may not entirely erase societal stigma, they serve as a potent platform for marginalized individuals to reshape their lives. Special Olympics Pilipinas, established in 2021, is dedicated to empowering Filipinos with intellectual disabilities through competitive sports, challenging societal norms, and fostering inclusion.
This impactful initiative can be traced back to its visionary founder, Eunice Kennedy Shriver, who, fueled by a commitment to justice, initiated Camp Shriver in 1962. This event laid the groundwork for the inaugural International Special Olympics Games in 1968. Special Olympics Pilipinas continues this legacy by extending opportunities to Filipinos with intellectual disabilities, contributing to a more inclusive sports industry, and offering meaningful experiences to individuals in the Philippines.
How do sports benefit persons with intellectual disabilities?
The key benefits of sports involvement for persons with intellectual disabilities are manifold. Firstly, it brings about various physical benefits for individuals with intellectual disabilities. This includes improved cardiovascular fitness, weight management, balance, and enhanced strength.
Beyond the physical gains, Special Olympics Pilipinas recognizes the pivotal role of sports in emotional and mental well-being. Athletes with intellectual disabilities showcase transformative journeys that show improved confidence. Personal success through sports is an effective way for self-expression and growth.
Sports also serve as a powerful platform for challenging societal stigmas and promoting social integration. This extends beyond physical activity, contributing to broader societal acceptance. Achieving success in Special Olympics Pilipinas involves collaboration among families, athletes, coaches, and volunteers. Coaches guide members to discover their strengths, while volunteers generously contribute their time to support various activities.
How are we advancing special needs advocacy in the Philippines?
At the heart of Special Olympics Pilipinas are powerful stories. The organization’s impact shines through stories of families turning challenges into opportunities for growth. Take Joan Iven Jamora-Abello, who transitioned from her corporate career to pursue a master’s in special education after her son Akim was diagnosed with ASD and ADHD. Akim excelled in swimming through SOP, showcasing how sports positively influence character and resilience.
Olympian Akiko Thomson-Guevara faced the surprise of her daughter Sachiko being diagnosed with Down syndrome. Despite initial fear, Sachiko became a source of joy. As the Board Chair of Special Olympics Pilipinas, Akiko promotes inclusivity, emphasizing SO Pilipinas’ impact on individuals with intellectual disabilities.
While the world cheers for Hidilyn Diaz, a 17-person Filipino delegation, including athletes with intellectual disabilities, secured gold, silver, and bronze medals from international competitions like the Special Olympics World Games Berlin 2023.
We believe in putting faces to the advocacy, enriching a global movement with true-to-life tales of hope, perseverance, and success.
Be Part of the Movement
Change takes time, but collective efforts bring it closer to reality. Special Olympics Pilipinas contributes by empowering athletes with intellectual disabilities through sports. Our regular sports clinics, events, and activities, supported by volunteers and private organizations, aim to help these individuals realize their full potential as a valued community members. Learn more about us here.
Make a statement and show your support for people with intellectual disabilities by wearing these shirts. All proceeds will go to funding and sustaining our programs for our athletes with intellectual disabilities. Ready to wear your support? Dive into the collection here.
You can also gift Special Olympics Pilipinas something extraordinary by donating your Globe Reward points on the Globe One App! Your points will help us create and maintain programs that help people with intellectual disabilities overcome social stigma through sports.
Donate by following these steps:
1. Download the GlobeOne app and log in
2. Tap on Rewards points
3. Search for Pilipinas Special Olympics
4. Select the denomination of points you want to donate
5. Confirm your donation
The holiday is more fruitful with the gift of giving!