Special Olympics Is a Global Resource
Special Olympics is an international organization that changes lives by encouraging and empowering people with intellectual disabilities, promoting acceptance for all and fostering communities of understanding and respect worldwide. Founded in 1968 by Eunice Kennedy Shriver, the Special Olympics movement has grown from a few hundred athletes to nearly 3.1 million athletes in 228 programs in all regions of the world, providing year-round sports training, athletic competition and other related programs.
The 2010 Global Congress, timed to immediately precede the opening match of the World Cup, will be a critical event for the future of Special Olympics. For the past 10 years, Special Olympics has grown rapidly throughout the world, not just in size but in scope and programs for people with intellectual disability in the areas of health, education, family support and attitude change. In addition, Special Olympics has been influencing policy change in countries around the world to better serve people with intellectual disabilities, who represent the largest disability population on earth.
Morocco will host the upcoming Special Olympics Global Congress scheduled for June 7-10, 2010 in Marrakesh. The Global Congress will bring together key leaders and stakeholders of Special Olympics from all corners of the world in a four-day forum of collaboration and celebration. HRH Princess Lala Amina with Special Olympics President and COO Brady Lum together signed a Memorandum of Understanding under the witness of Special Olympics Managing Director Ayman Wahab to solidify the event and begin the planning process for the 2010 Special Olympics Global Congress. The memorandum signing was held in the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
"What better place for a global movement, like Special Olympics, to join together than Marrakesh, Morocco," shared Lum. "Just like Special Olympics, Morocco is able to bring together people of all types of background, race, politics, ethnicity, education level, social status and religion. In this challenging economy, Special Olympics continues to be a global force powered by passion. Every resource possible goes toward delivering our mission. I cannot imagine how we would have been able to bring our movement together for this important 2010 Global Congress without Morocco's support."
Special Olympics Morocco, chaired by HRH Princess Amina, has committed to host and finance the 2010 Global Congress, which will include 475 delegates from 228 Programs in nearly 170 countries. In addition to program leaders, the Congress will unite athletes, family members, coaches and sponsors. The goal of the Congress is to bring together key representatives of Special Olympics to help shape the future of the movement, which today is the leading global organization for people with intellectual disabilities.
"The Special Olympics movement is an organization of sport, social and humanitarian work of the highest order," said HRH Princess Amina. "This Global Congress is imperative to the progress of the noble worldwide endeavors of Special Olympics, and it needs our full engagement and unconditional support."
HRH Princess Amina also serves on the International Board of Directors for Special Olympics and has been a true champion for people with intellectual disability in Morocco, providing leadership throughout the country to build more acceptance and inclusion for the athletes of Special Olympics. The positive contributions of the Kingdom of Morocco to promote Special Olympics and the leadership of His Majesty King Mohammed VI, were crucial to holding the Congress in Morocco.