April 30, 2018

FWD Life Philippines launches Community Care partnership with Special Olympics Philippines

FWD and Special Olympics Philippines celebrated the beginning of the partnership with a bowling friendship match participated by athletes from both organizations as well as members of the media, held on April 23, 2018 at The Palms Country Club in Muntinlupa City.

With its vision to empower people to live fulfilled lives, FWD's Community Care program supports the Athlete Leadership and Unified Schools programs of Special Olympics, the world's largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities.



FWD Life Insurance

Through the partnership, FWD is embracing the power of sports to let people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and abilities.

FWD Group is donating US$1.25 million across the Asian markets where it operates: Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, and Vietnam.

Pan-Asian insurer FWD Life Insurance believes there is a champion in all of us and that anybody can make a difference no matter the challenges they face. In line with this belief, the most exciting insurance brand in the country today launched its global partnership with the Special Olympics, the world’s largest sports organization for people with intellectual disabilities.



“Through this partnership, FWD aims to champion the dreams of young people with intellectual disabilities by creating an inclusive environment that provide equal opportunities,” said FWD Life Philippines President and Chief Executive Officer Peter Grimes. “FWD supports the vision of Special Olympics: using the power of sports to let people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths and abilities. Through this partnership, we are excited to bring to life our Community Care vision—to empower people to live fulfilled lives.”

Asia-based FWD Group, which launched their region-wide support to Special Olympics in Hong Kong in February, is donating US$ 1.25 million across the markets where it operates: Hong Kong, Thailand, Indonesia, the Philippines, Singapore, Vietnam, and Japan.



Special Olympics

Special Olympics is a non-profit charitable organization that provides year-round sports training and competition in a variety of Olympic- type sports for children and adults with intellectual disability. Aside from sporting activities it is the world’s largest provider of healthcare to people with intellectual disability.

- Young Athletes program for children with intellectual disabilities aged 2-7 years - Family support network encouraging family engagement - Athlete Leadership Program to promote self-advocacy - Youth Activation committee to create advocacy opportunities

- Healthy Athletes to improve the health of people with intellectual disabilities through health screening, follow up care and health education for athletes and their families. 


15% of the world lives with a disability1. Of these, more than 200 million2 have an intellectual disability making them one of the world’s biggest disability groups and one of the most underserved populations. People with intellectual disability face enormous attitudinal, structural, and logistical barriers to obtaining healthcare and getting a job. These compounding factors mean that many struggle with poverty and have significantly shorter lifespans than the general population.

Encouraging inclusion through sports

“FWD Life Philippines has always been keen about addressing the needs of people across different lifestyles by teaching them and equipping them to live life to the fullest," FWD Life Philippines Head of Marketing and Community Care Lead Roche Vandenberghe noted. "Through the partnership with the Special Olympics, FWD hopes to change how society perceives people with intellectual disabilities, that despite their condition, they can make valuable contributions to society and should be given opportunities to do so," she added.

Roche Vandenberghe,  FWD Life Philippines Head of Marketing and Community Care 

Kaye Samson, Special Olympics Philippines National Director, said, “We are delighted to welcome FWD to the Special Olympics family. This new partnership with FWD in the Philippines will make a difference to the lives of our athletes and young people. Together, we will collaborate to create a unified generation—people with and without intellectual disabilities working together for an inclusive society, where respect, tolerance, and human equality prevail.”

FWD to support Special Olympics’ Unified Schools and Athlete Leadership programs

To fulfill their dream of an inclusive environment with equal opportunities for people with disabilities, FWD, through its Community Care program, will support two (2) Special Olympics programs—the Unified Schools and Athlete Leadership programs.

For the Unified Schools program, FWD will partner with Special Olympics in engaging thousands of young people in workshops and unified activities to educate them about people with intellectual disabilities and train them to develop ways to create social change. FWD also plans to invite schools and communities to various sports and non-sports activities involving Special Olympics athletes, to celebrate acceptance and inclusion.

On the other hand, for the Athlete Leadership program, hundreds of athletes with intellectual disabilities will undergo training to be empowered, develop leadership skills, utilize their abilities to undertake leadership roles in the Special Olympics movement, and create inclusive communities all over the world. These activities will be done under the umbrella of FWD’s 2020 Community Care program whose goal is to improve the quality of life of individuals with disabilities in Asia by promoting inclusion through rehabilitation and vocational training and generate positive change for the disabled, their families, and their communities.





“Stop the ridicule, choose to include.”

During the FWD-Special Olympics Philippines partnership launch, FWD Life Philippines also launched its support for the campaign to end "the R-Word." During the event, guests and participants of the bowling match pledged to stop using the R-Word, which is short for the word "retarded," considered exclusive, offensive, and derogatory. The said R-Word aims to drive people to stop saying the R-word and other similar words as a starting point toward creating more accepting attitudes and communities for a more inclusive society. 


FWD is focused on creating fresh customer experiences, with easy-to-understand products, supported by digital technology. Through this customer-led approach, FWD aims to become a leading pan-Asian insurer that changes the way people feel about insurance. 

For more information please visit fwd.com.ph.

Special Olympics Philippines is an accredited Program under Special Olympics, Inc. It was founded in August 1979, and provides year-round sports training and athletic competition to over 6,000 people with intellectual disabilities (also known as “athletes” in Special Olympics) in 13 official sports, delivered by over 200 trained volunteer coaches.

For more information on Special Olympics Philippines
Email: specialolympicsph@gmail.com Facebook and Instagram: Special Olympics Philippines Twitter: @SOPhils








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