The following post was written by Vimbai and Lindo, two Special Olympics youth leaders from Namibia. The pair make it their mission to strengthen inclusion in their community. Check out how they #innovateforinclusion!
Mr. Richard, one of our mentors, took over with the objectives of the youth innovation introduction and participants. He explained the reason why the youth were at certain camps and motivated them to help capture data and recruit the former athletes neglected by the community. He then handed over leadership to Mrs Faith, who gave a full Special Olympics Namibia orientation.
One big thing I learned from this experience was how individuals with intellectual disabilities can do anything an individual without an intellectual disability can do. These individuals are just as clever as any other individual. IT was very eye opening to witness this. I now know I must do my best to defend all individuals and end discrimination.
The importance of the inclusion of youth with and without intellectual disabilities in all sports was presented the sharing of knowledge of the Sport Federation in Namibia. We spoke about the inclusion of athletes and their partners and the importance of getting friends and family involved as well. In particular, one of our leaders, Ms. Mize, enabled youth with and without intellectual disabilities. All of the youth had great fun working together, sharing ideas, and expressing themselves through art and athletics.
The 2018 Special Olympics Youth Innovation Grant initiative is supported through partnerships with Hasbro, Inc., The Samuel Family Foundation, theOffice of Special Education Programs at the United States Department of Education, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, and the Lions Clubs International Foundation. Learn more about these inspiring projects at SpecialOlympicsGlobalYouthProjects.org.