The Special Olympics Rwanda held the second event of the Golisano Health Leadership Awards which was awarded to two outstanding partners of the year 2020. The ceremony was attended by 40 Guests coming from different sectors that is; the Government represented by the Ministry of Sports and Ministry of Health, Civil Society Leaders, SOR Board, and Staff at the Onomo Hotel, Kigali on 24 September 2021.
Tharcisse Ngambe received a Golisano Health Leadership Award as an outstanding individual partner and volunteer of Special Olympics Rwanda in the year of 2020 for his consistent contribution and dedication towards Inclusive Health.
The Golisano Health Leadership Award is presented by Special Olympics International and the Golisano Foundation and is awarded nationally to outstanding individuals, companies, and organizations dedicated to improving the health of people with intellectual disabilities and advancing the health of Special Olympics athletes. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the 2020 Golisano Awards event was not carried out and was postponed until now in line with the government measures put in place for the prevention of the virus spread.
Sulfo Rwanda Industries received a Golisano Health Leadership Award as outstanding partner of Special Olympics Rwanda in the year of 2020 for its consistent contribution and dedication towards Inclusive Health.
“Since 2017, with support from the Golisano Foundation, Special Olympics Rwanda has already carried out different health forums that assist athletes, family members, and coaches. The Golisano Foundation has also greatly improved the lives of our athletes locally through health screenings carried out in a way that athletes are now aware of their health statuses and challenges they may face,” said Deus Sangwa, Chairperson of Special Olympics Rwanda. “By investing in our Healthy Communities, Mr. Golisano will allow us to continue our critical health programming and prioritize the health needs of people with intellectual disabilities.”
Special Olympics International announced last week that it has received its largest single private gift in the organization’s 53-year history. Tom Golisano, Paychex founder, philanthropist and father of a son with an intellectual disability (ID), will provide $30 million, his third major gift to Special Olympics. This funding will expand the Special Olympics Healthy Communities program. Healthy Communities provides health services globally for people with ID, a population that has been critically underserved, especially during the pandemic.
About Special Olympics Rwanda
Special Olympics Rwanda is a non-governmental organization affiliated with Special Olympics International in 2003 with a mission starting that “To provide year-round sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience, joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills, and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes, and the community.”
Since 2003, the program has continued to grow from 75 Athletes to 19,600, from 5 Coaches to 1,823, and from 10 registered family members to 986, Special Olympics Rwanda presently operates in 23 Districts.
Special Olympics Rwanda signed a 4-year renewed MoU with the Government of Rwanda on the 16th July 2019 through the Ministry of Sports to create a partnership and ensuring sustainable care, support, and programming for individuals with Intellectual Disabilities, in alignment and support of the Government of Rwanda’s commitment to persons with intellectual disabilities that will expand opportunities for people with intellectual disabilities in the areas of Sports, Education and Health.
About Tom Golisano and the Golisano Foundation
Tom Golisano — entrepreneur, philanthropist, and civic leader — is the founder and chairman of the board of Paychex, Inc., a leading national provider of payroll, human resource, and benefit outsourcing solutions with more than 14,000 employees and 100 office locations nationwide serving more than a half-million small and medium-sized businesses. Tom’s vision, perseverance, and action have left an indelible mark on a broad spectrum of issues that touch our lives – in business, healthcare, education, voter policies, politics, and tax reform. His personal philanthropic contributions to hospitals, educational institutions, and other organizations exceed $330 million. A fierce advocate for dignity and inclusion, Tom Golisano applied his pioneering spirit to establish the Golisano Foundation to help make the world a better place for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Founded in 1985, the Golisano Foundation is now one of the largest private foundations in the United States devoted exclusively to supporting programs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. With $45 million in gross assets, it awards more than $2 million in grants annually “Imagining the Possibilities,” advocating for families, fighting for their dignity, and giving people with IDD the opportunity to thrive in their communities.