The following post was written by Kaylany and Carolina, two Special Olympics Youth Leaders from Brazil. The pair make it their mission to strengthen inclusion in their community. Check out how they #innovateforinclusion!
Kaylany Gimenes da Silva:
I am part of the Unified Schools program in Jundiaí (São Paulo) and I am a Youth Leader. As a Youth Leader I carried out a project in a school in Jundiaí. It was an unforgettable experience for me. First, I and more members (Carol and Mariângela) held a forum to choose Youth Leaders and talk about the inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities, the students interacted very well. On the second day, we held a recreational activity with the students, a relay race in which it was done in mixed pairs (a boy and a girl). On the last day, we took athletes with intellectual disabilities in the rhythmic gymnastics modality, in addition to students winning medals for participation. In the afternoon, there was a painting and poetry contest, the finals of the relay race and a quiz about inclusion. On the first day, I was shy, but throughout the project I was interacting with the students and on the last day I felt more comfortable and managed to pass on my knowledge that I learned. It was an incredible, wonderful experience. I just have to thank you. Thank you, gratitude to all!
Being part of the project was indescribable. I also enjoyed having the invitation to represent my country as well as having competent mentors and partners.
The Youth Leadership Summit gave me a lot of awareness on how to live among so many different ethnicities and cultures. I learned a little of each and have brought home a baggage of knowledge that would never be possible without such an opportunity.
In the practical part I was delighted with the development of Kaylany. She was a Youth Leader since the beginning and she developed the activities, proposed them very well, and knew how to work together.
The 2018–2019 Special Olympics Youth Innovation Grant initiative is supported through partnerships with Hasbro, Inc., The Samuel Family Foundation, the Office of Special Education Programs at the United States Department of Education, the Stavros Niarchos Foundation, the Kantar Group, the Microsoft Corporation, Lane Global Youth Leadership, and the Lions Clubs International Foundation. Learn more about these inspiring projects at SpecialOlympicsGlobalYouthProjects.org.