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UNICEF Ghana takes a stand for inclusion for children through it ‘Unified Football for Inclusion’ initiative


UNICEF Ghana, has kicked start activities to celebrate this year’s World Children’s Day (WCD) with a two-day football tournament at the Akropong School for the Blind in the Eastern Region.

The tournament was dubbed ‘Unified Football for Inclusion’ which featured children from 10 schools for disabled children across the country. The tournament was themed It’s about ability.
The tournament sought to highlight varied capabilities of children living with disabilities in the field of sports and athletics.

Speaking at the opening ceremony, the Country Representative of UNICEF, Anne-Claire Dufay called for an inclusive, safe, and protected society for every Ghanaian child irrespective of his or her ability. According to her society will be more prosperous if children are not discriminated against and are given a fair chance and an opportunity and requisite support.

She also added that at UNICEF, they believe that all children and young persons should have a fair and equitable chance and should be able to enjoy their rights, no matter their abilities.

In a solidarity message, President of the Ghana Football Association, Kurt Edwin Simeon-Okraku urged key players in society and society in general, to make room for people living with disabilities as part of their social inclusion interventions to help create a stronger society.

“I am very delighted to join hands with UNICEF and the GES to participate in today’s all-important event. Indeed, I am an advocate for youth in sports, with a special bias for football and it gives me joy to see children engage in friendly competition with each other, whether on football pitches or whatever the dream fits to play.

“This implies to all children, regardless of their physical composition, abled or disabled. I also believe vision is something we have in common and can be found in the heart, and it is through vision that all of us achieve greatness and strive for a bright future. It is important for all of us to come together to create more platforms for every child to realise his or her dream and I am committed towards this vision”, he said.

Solidarity messages were also received from Francisca Atuluk, Deputy Director, Ministry of Youth and Sports on behalf of the sector minister; Nana Baffour Awuah, Pre-Tertiary Director at the Ministry of Education who also represented the sector minister; Nina Akosua Efedi Okoroafor, a Youth Advocate; Head of Programmes Division, Department of Children, Ministry of Gender, Children and Social Protection; and Lawrence Dzah, Akuapem North Municipal Director of Education who chaired the occasion as well.

The Unified Football for Inclusion tournament was organised by UNICEF Ghana in partnership with the Ghana Education Service (GES) and the Norway Ministry of Foreign Affairs. The tournament kicked off with a float on the streets of Akropong to create awareness of the imbedded abilities and qualities children with disability have making them an important aspect in our country’s development initiatives.

Winners for the blind category of the football tournament were the Akropong School for the Blind for (Boys category) and the Wa School for the Blind (Girls’ category), whilst the Demonstration School for the Deaf (Mampong) won the deaf category for both boys and girls.

Participating schools in the football tournament included the host school, Akropong School for the Blind, Koforidua School for the Deaf, Wa Methodist School for the Blind, Mampong School for the Deaf, St. Paul Methodist Basic School, Wa, Akropong District Assembly Basic School, St. Andrews Catholic JHS, Wa, Mampong Presby JHS, and the Wa School for the Deaf.


[Source: MyJoyOnline.com]

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