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Visit to Social Rehabilition Center

We visit the Centre de Promotion Sociale Cotonou — a social rehabilitation center set-up in 1992 and funded by the Beninese Ministry of Family, Social Protection and Solidarity. The welcome is fantastic — intellectually challenged children and their parents and teachers of the school sing and dance — welcoming us into their center.

Welcome to our centerWelcome to our center

This education center acts as a stepping stone for intellectually challenged children, aiming to help them find places in schools and liaising with their families to build a supportive home base. Special Olympics Benin is one of the center’s partners. Two Special Olympics coaches lead sports sessions on Mondays and Wednesdays every week and on Saturdays they run training sessions at the national stadium.

All hands on The BallAll hands on The Ball

Special Olympics also run their healthy athletes screening, where doctors and dentists come to the center twice a year and run complete medical checks. Children receive free dental care and are supplied with reading glasses if they need them. All of this is funded through donations to Special Olympics. The presentation of The Ball evokes great interest and every single person at the center (intellectually challenged or not) kicks or heads and signs The Ball, then it is time for a kick-about. It is much too hot for football so the game doesn’t last long.

One of the children took a special liking to The Ball and didn’t want to let go…

My BallMy Ball

Even the youngest members of the center signed The Ball

Young signitriesYoung signatories

They sang a touching farewell song as we left the centre.

Au revoirWaves goodbye

The memories will last much longer and the smiles on the faces of everyone are a testimony to the fabulous work being done by Special Olympics and to the magnetism and magic of The Ball.

Written by on Sunday, May 2nd, 2010

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The Ball 2018 left England on 25th March 2018 and travelled to the World Cup in Russia.

The Ball 2014 kicked off from England on 9th Jan 2014 and headed to the World Cup in Brazil.

The Ball 2010 left England on 24th Jan 2010 headed to the Opening Ceremony in Johannesburg, South Africa.

The Ball 2006 travelled from London to the Opening Ceremony in Munich, Germany.

The Ball 2002 was carried 7000 miles across Europe and Asia to the World Cup finals in Korea & Japan.