Promoting Inclusivity: The 2024 Achieve Unified Games.

In 2023, Prince’s Trust International (PTI) and JA Ghana launched the Achieve Unified Games as an avenue to foster inclusion and collaboration among students on the Achieve Skills for Schools programme and students with special needs in Ghana. The Unified Games capitalizes on sports and other team-building activities to promote inclusion. The second edition, held on 16th February 2024 at New Horizon Special School was an improvement on the maiden edition and left a lasting impact on all who participated.

Attendance at the event was impressive, with 133 participants, including PTI and JA staff members, teachers, and students from Mamprobi South 4 JHS and New Horizon Special School. This year’s activities were designed to promote teamwork, creativity, sportsmanship, and inclusivity. From the water challenge to the 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 Skills for Schools 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 realized 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 daily.

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.