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2017 SOUTH-SOUTH SKILLZ FOR LIFE IMPLEMENTATION (PHASE ONE)

2017 SOUTH-SOUTH SKILLZ FOR LIFE IMPLEMENTATION (PHASE ONE)

The Special Olympics Nigeria-ExxonMobil ground breaking Malaria/HIV initiative also known as ‘’Skillz For Life programme’’ commenced in South-South region of Nigeria with the training of coaches. This year, the initiative was extended to reach out to persons with intellectual disabilities (PWID) in the South-South and South-East region of Nigeria. This is due to the alarming rate of malaria prevalence in the region. According to a report by the United States Embassy in Nigeria (2011) on malaria prevalence in children, the South-South and South-East region of Nigeria has a 70% infection rate of malaria and HIV/AIDS. Research also shows that the South-East of Nigeria has the lowest percentage of people who own/use Mosquito nets with Enugu at 56.6%. In Akwa Ibom state, with a population of 3,920,208, malaria is the number one killer, due to geography and vegetation. In collaboration with Grassroot Soccer, Special Olympics Nigeria organised a five-day coaches’ training from the 15th-19th of May 2017 at Special Education Centre Uyo, Akwa Ibom state for the first phase of the 2017 Skillz For Life programme. A total of 48 volunteers were trained on how to implement the Skillz For Life curriculum, how to work with people with intellectual disability (ID) and proper facilitation methods during intervention. After the training, the volunteers were awarded certificates of participation and officially became Skillz For Life Coaches. Highlights of the event included; an introductory overview to the program, an opening energizer session, a demonstration segment that featured training coaches on the proper ways to implement the program and a curriculum based practise session to mention a few. Other features on showcase included the developing of different Kilos for celebrating athletes and new songs for implementation. The first phase of implementation has commenced in Akwa Ibom and Rivers states respectively while implementation in Cross River state will be starting in June, 2017.

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