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Special Olympics call for media support

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Special Olympics Malawi (SOM), an umbrella body concerned with the welfare of the intellectually-challenged, has called on the media to give more coverage to events involving the organisation.

SOM board chairperson, Peter Mazunda, made the call on Saturday at Malawi National Council of Sports offices in Blantyre where the organisation presented awards to individuals and sports journalists, who promoted Special Olympics activities this year.

“Persons with intellectual disabilities face stigma in societies even from their own parents. I think if you do more stories, it will help bring more awareness and help us have a better world. It is for this reason that we thank you for your support in 2015,” Mazunda said.

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Some of the reporters SOM recognised were David Dauda (Malawi Institute of Journalism), Solomoni Manda and Watipaso Mzungu (Nation Publications Limited), David Kapezi, Beatrice Juma and Richard Khoviwa (Malawi Broadcasting Corporation).

Other individuals such as Tupochele Milanzi and Overton Mazunda were also recognised.

Each reporter received a SOM-branded bag, umbrella, key-holder, T-shirt and flash disk.

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SOM had a successful year following the success of its athletes who won seven gold medals, three silver medals and two bronze medals during Special Olympics World Summer Games held in the United States.

Speaking earlier, SOM national director, Felix Chisowa, said the difference between mental illness and intellectual challenges was that mental illness can be cured. Intellectual challenges can only be managed.

Mental illness affects some 16 percent of the general population across the world, whereas only three percent of the same gets affected by intellectual challenges.

SOM operates in some 16 districts using sports, health, education and community building as vehicles for improving the welfare of the intellectually-challenged.

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