The Celebration of Eunice Kennedy Shriver Day in the Philippines
Connecting people with intellectual disabilities through Special Olympics
Ms Eunice Kennedy Shriver was the founder of the Special Olympics movement which is known worldwide. She championed the rights of people with intellectual disabilities. Every 26th of September her memory is remembered thru a global celebration of Eunice Kennedy Shriver (EKS) Day.
Do the best you can, and then to hell with it!— Eunice Kennedy Shriver
Why celebrate EKS Day?
Ms. Janet Froetscher, CEO of Special Olympics gave us a glimpse of how significant an annual global celebration of EKS Day really is:
- It is a special event to celebrate the legacy of an exceptional and a remarkable woman leader who championed the cause for people with intellectual disabilities globally.
- More than five decades ago, EKS had envisioned that sports could build confidence and skills especially so for people with intellectual disabilities since they abound with talents and skills that can be honed and developed.
- Sports can connect people with intellectual disabilities among themselves and with others and therefore can integrate them into society.
- Special Olympics was borne out of EKS' vision, inspiration, conviction, commitment and hardwork. The rest was history. She made it happen through sports, leadership education, health services, behavioral and policy changes through various formal and informal training.
- Her legacy lives on everyday through each one of those who remember, honor and celebrate the spirit.
Thus, Ms. Froetscher urged everyone to honor such legacy by joining together in sports, in communities across nations by playing unified- people with and without intellectual disabilities playing on teams together.
Philippines Celebrates EKS Day via Friendship Walk
The SPECIAL OLYMPICS PHILIPPINES NCR SOUTH celebrated the 7TH GLOBAL EUNICE KENNEDY SHRIVER DAY on October 1, 2016 through a half-day long program of fun-filled activities. More than 500 people participated in the event which almost doubled the size of attendees from previous year. Everyone had a wonderful time.
ALPs athletes assisted in organizing the Eunice Kennedy Shriver (EKS) Day celebration hosted by Special Olympics Philippines NCR South Chapter. They helped in organizing the Unified Friendship Walk that was participated in by special athletes and their families, special guests, sponsors and coaches. Student volunteers from the Psychology Department of Adamson University likewise assisted in ensuring the success of the event.
This year's long list of generous sponsors includes: SM Southmall, Jollibee, Nestle Chuckie, Gardenia, Business Innovative Gateway(BIG ), San Miguel Corporation, COMFOODS, InterMed Marketing Phils, Manila Bulletin, Philippine Daily Inquirer, IQ Capture, The Library, Palanca Tours SM Supermarket, Burger King, Domino’s Pizza,KFC, Pancake House, SM Foodcourt, GoNuts Donuts,Chowking,Toho Antigua. Solma’s Canteen,Seafood Grill ,Kipp’s Chicken, SM Home, The SM Store,Kenny Rodger’s Roaster’s & Ted’s La Paz Batchoy , athlete’s families and Unified partners.
The day was highlighted by a unified (involving persons with disabilities and those without disabilities) activity capped by the following events Friendship Walk, Dance Wellness Exercise, photo booth, signing at the friendship wall and a talent portion to showcase the versatile talents of special athletes other than sports.
EKS Day Celebration in Photos - Philippines 2016
Photo credits: roldan r. roldan.
Knowledge expands and empowers.
Persons with intellectual disabilities are special and are integral part of our society. Ms. Cristy Canizares, a psychologist and the EKS Day celebration point person for the Philippines cannot overemphasize enough the importance of self-education on the matter. Being a certified bookworm that she is, Ms. Cristy encourages everyone who may be interested to know more about such conditions to source more info thru relevant books such as- Demystifying Syndromes II.
Be better informed!
In your opinion, which part of the EKS program did the attendees enjoy the most?
How do you wish to participate in the next EKS celebration in your area?
EKS Day is remembered and celebrated all over the world. Yet. it goes beyond the one day celebration. It could be everyday and any day every time you choose to reach out out and give love. Persons with disabilities matter as they bring pure happiness to this world. And, hopefully, they matter to you. How do you wish to make your noble intention of spreading the EKS spirit become real and more tangible in your own unique way? Make suggestions and make them count in the comments field below.