Creating Inclusion through Unified Sports
Franck and Kouka are Special Olympics Youth Leaders from Burkina Faso who hope to make inclusion a reality in their communities. Franck and Kouka’s Youth Innovation Project consists of several Unified activities such as football (soccer), ballet, and theatre. Their hope is that through these Unified activities, youth with and without intellectual disability will bond over a shared experience and create lifelong friendships.
During their project, Franck and Kouka will also arrange for a local professor to meet with youth in their community and teach about intellectual disabilities in hopes of promoting awareness and inclusion. They want to educate their peers about the potential that people living with intellectual disabilities have despite their perceived limitations. Through the lecture and Unified activities, Franck and Kouka will promote the message that people with intellectual disability can do everything that people without intellectual disability can.
Franck has been volunteering with Special Olympics since 2012 and is excited for the opportunity to make inclusion a part of his community. Through Special Olympics programming, he has witnessed how people with intellectual disabilities excel when their peers without intellectual disabilities believe in them and give them the opportunity to excel. Franck, along with his Unified Partner Kouka, will provide opportunities for youth living with intellectual disability to be a bigger part of their community in Burkina Faso.