A woman and two men smile while holding a soccer ball bearing the Special Olympics logo

Paraguay is the first South American country to join the Global Leadership Alliance for Inclusion

Paraguay made history by becoming the first South American country to join the group Special Olympics Global Leadership Alliance for Inclusion. This milestone was achieved through the signing of a memorandum of understanding during a ceremony held in the capital, Asuncion, on April 4, 2024.

The signing ceremony was held at Headquarters of the Ministry of Education and Science of Paraguay It was attended by prominent figures, including Luis Fernando Ramírez, Paraguay’s Minister of Education and Science. Claudia Echeverri, President and Managing Director of Special Olympics Latin Americaand Luis Caceres Bron, President of Special Olympics Paraguay.

Under this memorandum, the Ministry of Education and Science of Paraguay commits to ensuring the provision of spaces and environments conducive to teaching the true inclusion of students of all abilities across educational institutions in the national system, and to training teachers on Special Olympics issues, including raising awareness about intellectual disabilities. and the transformative power of sport, and encourage student and teacher participation in inclusive sports activities, including those organized by Special Olympics.

The Government of Paraguay’s responsibilities as a member of the Alliance continue to build on the success achieved with Open Schools, a project managed in partnership with… Special Olympics Paraguay150 schools and educational centers provide students and youth with a healthy space to practice sports and cultural activities during the holiday period, bringing their number to 10,500 students.

“This project and its endorsement, as the Ministry of Education and the Government of Paraguay join the Special Olympics Global Leadership Alliance for Inclusion, is an integral part of the legacy of the Latin American Games,” said Claudia Echeverri. “I would like to congratulate the Minister and his entire team for being the first ministry to strongly embrace a specific legacy.” And concrete for these Games: reaching 300 schools and ensuring the participation of these children and young people not only in the “Open Schools” program but also through this program and their experience in the Latin American Games is witnessing a real change in its perspective and expanding it to include all its communities.

“This is our goal: for them to become agents of change from their schools to their families and communities. They are truly the ones who will lead our societies. We must work with them from now on and make sure they acquire the values, personal skills, and emotional and social skills needed to build truly inclusive societies.”

The alliance, made possible by a generous grant from Stavros Niarchos Foundation (SNF), is a pioneering multilateral effort to support people with intellectual disabilities.

For the first time, governments, UN agencies, corporate leaders, global philanthropy leaders and development assistance agencies have come together with a shared global commitment to increasing inclusive practices in education and sport and creating more inclusive schools and communities.

Among the members of the government coalition are: Angola, China, Egypt, Ghana, Tarek mountain, Iceland, Jamaica, Kenya, Kosovo, Malta, Mongolia, the black Mountain, Panama, Paraguay, Seychelles, South Africa And the The United Arab Emirates.

Luis Fernando Ramirez added: “Within the “Open Schools” space, developed in collaboration with Special Olympics Paraguay, coexistence centered on humanity is promoted. It delves into what makes us human and how we relate to it: through art and sports. There are no barriers, And it emerges as a critical space for civic coexistence, where teachers also learn and realize that it’s not so complicated to say, “Let everyone participate,” and when we all start learning, it creates a vital and valuable space for communities, it represents a first step, a very important step that enables us to generate Awareness and progress towards what we desire and aspire to.

“The interaction, communication and coordination of actions between the Ministry of Education and Science of Paraguay and Special Olympics has become a global standard,” said Luis Cáceres Brun.

Over the next three years, Alliance members have committed to expanding and expanding inclusive sports and education opportunities for more than 2,000,000 young people in more than 150,000 schools. Special Olympics programming To 180 countries.

More information about Special Olympics Global Leadership Alliance for Inclusion.


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