Sport in Action during the COVID-19 crisis in Zambia
Special Olympics Zambia has an initiative to reach 2,500 athletes from low income households in Ngombe and Madevu districts with Sport in Action and the University of East London.
On Tuesday 21 April, 2020 the Minister of Gender made personal visits to athlete homes and the Minister of Lands Jean Kapata supported another 50 athletes.
These athlete’s families have livelihoods in the informal sector, and live from hand to mouth. The COVID-19 stay-at-home order from government to stop the spread of the virus has caused a stop to household income, meaning that many are going hungry. Changes to buying patterns due to the virus have also meant that their small businesses of selling cooked food on the side fo streets to passing foot traffic, outside work premises or door-to-door in residential areas can no longer take place.
Inclusion Works with Athlete Employment
In addition to this emergency support, the initiative has hired 10 Athletes for the next 3 months of the project. their task will be to help in the planning, select beneficiaries, and pack the emergency relief packages. They will be developing education messages, including working with local celebrities to create videos for social medias.
With a safety-first approach, the initiative is ensuring that all participants have personal protective equipment throughout the project and are not on the high risk front lines of the pandemic.
More partners are showing interest to support this mission, and Special Olympics Zambia has so far raised $35,000 for the project from organisational and individual support.