By Michael Angelo S. Murillo
THE MISSION of the Special Olympics to foster an inclusive environment for persons with intellectual disabilities (PIDs) got a big boost locally after poultry integrator company Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. (BAVI) entered into a partnership with the sports organization for a campaign geared towards providing opportunities to individuals with special needs.
Dubbed “Kaya ‘Yan, Manok ng Bayan,” the campaign will see the local office of Special Olympics Asia Pacific (SOAP) and BAVI’s Chooks-to-Go brand conduct sports fests and training sessions for PIDS all over the Philippines.
On top of this is the thrust for a nationwide recruitment of PIDs to BAVI’s offices.
The memorandum of agreement for the partnership was formally signed on Tuesday with Chooks-to-Go President Ronald Mascariñas and Special Olympics Philippines National Director Kaye Samson, representing SOAP Managing Director Dipak Natali, as signatories.
The signing of the pact was held at Discovery Suites Ortigas.
The parties welcomed the partnership, seeing it as going a long way in helping improve the current landscape for PIDS in the country, particularly overcoming various challenges — be they attitudinal, structural or logistical — that people with special needs face.
“Filipinos with intellectual disabilities have inherent dignity and abilities that must be recognized. We are grateful to Special Olympics Asia Pacific for helping us to appreciate more deeply the unique contribution of PIDS to the world of business. We are happy that, through our involvement in sports, we will be able to help PIDs to excel in them and gain life skills and self-confidence in the process,” said Mr. Mascariñas at the signing ceremony.
BAVI is seeing what PIDs are capable of doing in an office environment first-hand as currently under its employ is Henry Munarriz, 21, an international powerlifting athlete with an intellectual disability who is now part of the company’s human resources division.
Mr. Mascariñas said it is their goal to hire more people like Mr. Munarriz to further incorporate them to society and channel focus on what they can do rather than their limitations.
For Ms. Samson, they, at Special Olympics, hope that their partnership with BAVI would open more opportunities for PIDs to be taken by other groups under their wings.
“This partnership is very important, because why? We live in a society where people with intellectual disabilities are last. When we usually ask for support, they don’t mind people with intellectual disabilities because they don’t believe in them. But we in the Special Olympics believe that people with intellectual disabilities deserve the right to play on the same playing field, deserve to live in the same world we all live in,” said Ms. Samson.
“So we are thankful to BAVI for this wonderful partnership; for believing in our athletes and people with intellectual disabilities, because they really deserve to be shown to the world, what they can do,” she added.
BAVI said it plans to make the partnership a long-term one so as to help more PIDS across the country.
Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. entered into a partnership with the Special Olympics for a campaign geared towards providing opportunities to persons with intellectual disabilities.