Access to health services is a critical component to healthy living in any community around the world, especially for refugees fleeing violence in Ukraine. For refugee children with intellectual disabilities fleeing the war, this takes on an urgency all of its own both for children and families alike. Through the global leadership of the Lions Clubs International Foundation and the “Mission: Inclusion” partnership shared with Special Olympics, refugee children with intellectual disabilities from Ukraine have been provided sustained access to primary and secondary health care in Moldova as part of LCIF’s support to the Special Olympics Unified with Refugees programming. In recent weeks, a range of health screenings were delivered to a group of 10 refugee children from Ukraine who are being supported by Special Olympics Moldova. These vital interventions were part of a Healthy Athletes event over three days which also benefitted a group of athletes from Special Olympics Moldova.
Lions Clubs International Foundation remains a pioneering global partner for the movement of Special Olympics, especially in Moldova, as part of its global commitment to inclusive development for some of the world’s most marginalized demographics. Services such as dental care, physical therapy, health counseling and more will be offered to refugee children to ensure that as part of their social integration into new host communities, health care is fully available.
The support from Lions Clubs International Foundation to the Unified with Refugees programming has resulted in tens of thousands of refugees with and without intellectual disabilities gaining access to key community-based services such as health counseling, health services, early childhood development, motor activity training, inclusive sports, and more. From Uganda to Poland, from Kenya to Cyprus and from Slovakia to Spain, the Lions Clubs International Foundation and Special Olympics continue to follow the mandate of the United Nations in ‘leaving no one behind’ when it comes to life-changing and often life-saving health care for those that need it most. Service driving inclusion- that’s the Lions Clubs International Foundation- Special Olympics “Mission: Inclusion” platform.