Promoting Inclusivity at JA Ghana’s 2024 Achieve Unified Games.

In 2023, JA Ghana launched the Achieve Unified Games as an avenue to foster understanding and collaboration among students on the Achieve Skills for Schools’ program and those with special needs. The second edition, held on 16th February, 2024 at New Horizon Special School was an improvement on the maiden edition and left lasting impact on all who participated.

Attendance at the event was impressive, with 113 participants, including JA staff members, media representatives, teachers and students from Mamprobi South 4 JHS and New Horizon Special School. This year’s activities were designed to promote teamwork, sportsmanship, and inclusivity. From the water challenge to sack race and the picking of balls, every activity showcased the diverse capabilities of all participants, regardless of their abilities.

One of the key highlights of the event was the post-games sessions, where students engaged in various crafts such as batik-making, doormat-making, painting, bead-making and basketry. This not only allowed them to showcase their creativity, but also ensured meaningful interactions between mainstream students on the Achieve programme and those with special needs from New Horizon.

The impact of the Unified Games was evident in the post-event interviews, where participants shared how the event transformed their perceptions of people with special needs. One student expressed ‘’ I was afraid of the students with special needs because of the way they were behaving, but when they started the games and interacted with me, I realised they were normal and could do things perfectly even with their disabilities’’ The students with special needs also praised the event for helping them connect with those from a mainstream school, an experience they barely get on daily basis.

In conclusion, the 2024 Achieve Unified Games was a resounding success, highlighting the importance of inclusivity, empathy, and collaboration. It served as a reminder that, regardless of our differences, we can come together to create a more inclusive and supportive community for all.

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