Special Olympics Senegal to deliver face masks to athletes in partnership with Speak Up Africa and Tongoro

Press Release • 10 June 2020

The organization joins pan-African Speak Up Africa campaign to protect athletes from COVID-19

Today, Special Olympics Senegal (SO Senegal) has announced a new partnership with the Stay Safe Africa campaign, in support of COVID-19 prevention and control. Led by Dakar-based advocacy tank Speak Up Africa, Stay Safe Africa seeks to protect communities from COVID-19 through the promotion of proven prevention methods.

Within the framework of the campaign, Special Olympics Senegal and Speak Up Africa have collaborated with leading Senegalese fashion brand Tongoro, to produce 500 face masks to give to SOS athletes, coaches and families. By working together, these organizations will promote the use of face masks in public spaces, as well as protecting people with disabilities who may be at increased risk of developing a serious illness from the virus. Furthermore, this collaboration aims to increase awareness on the virus and the recommended preventive measures to athletes, caregivers, and their communities.

“Many of our athletes have dedicated their lives to representing their country, often in the face of adversity. Sport has the powerful ability to bring people together, and we hope that others join the Stay Safe Africa campaign in the same spirit to help stop the spread of COVID-19 on the continent.” comments Rajah Sy, Director of Special Olympics Senegal.

As cases of COVID-19 continue to climb across the African continent, with over 4,000 cases reported in Senegal, proper prevention is critical. By wearing face masks, the virus, which is mainly spread through respiratory droplets produced when an infected person coughs or sneezes, can be contained and limited.

“We must all be aware and conscious of the situation as we are fighting an invisible threat, and it is in our collective interest, as Africans, to adopt the preventive measures such as wearing a facemask. My team and I are thrilled to support the Stay Safe Africa campaign and we are proud to play our part in protecting the talented athletes of Special Olympics Senegal from COVID-19” highlighted Sarah Diouf, Founder of Tongoro.

“Senegal is a country rich of talent, and we are delighted to partner with Special Olympics Senegal and Tongoro to support the national COVID-19 response. People with disabilities must be included in national plans. They must receive information about prevention measures, restriction plans and the services offered, in a diversity of accessible formats. urges Yacine Djibo, Executive Director and Founder of Speak Up Africa.

As part of the Stay Safe Africa campaign, athletes will launch the #ShowYourMaskOffAfrica social media challenge, wearing protective masks and highlighting the campaign’s key messages across their platforms. The partnership with Special Olympics Senegal also sets in motion the new Stay Safe, Stay Active initiative, which encourages athletes to remain healthy. Vulnerable populations such as people with disabilities are most at risk of COVID-19, and therefore must take additional precautions in ensuring that they have access to health services. Remaining active and healthy is key to maintaining physical and mental wellbeing during the pandemic.  

To get involved in the challenge, take a picture wearing your face mask and post online with the hashtag #ShowOffYourMaskAfrica. Further information on the correct usage and further ways to help limit the spread of COVID-19 are also available online at https://staysafeafrica.org/.

Notes to Editors

About Special Olympics Senegal

Special Olympics is an organization that works for the inclusion through sport of people with intellectual disabilities. Special Olympics offers solutions to inactivity, injustice, intolerance and social isolation, by encouraging and promoting people with intellectual disabilities.

About Tongoro

Launched in 2016 by Sarah Diouf, Tongoro is a clothing brand whose objective is to change the global perception on the consumption of African products, by offering high-quality fashion items at affordable prices. By promoting local artisanal work, Tongoro is committed in the long term to bringing a new dynamic for textile production and to promoting the economic and social development of artisanal workers in West Africa.

To join the Stay Safe Africa campaign on social media, use the hashtag #StaySafeAfrica. For more information on how you can join the campaign, please contact info@staysafeafrica.org  

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