The following post was written by Kritis and Al, two Special Olympics youth leaders from Mauritius. The pair make it their mission to strengthen inclusion in their community. Check out how they #innovateforinclusion!
This project was an opportunity for Kritis to prepare the next generation of leaders. Following the planning process, we decided that emerging youth leaders with and without intellectual disabilities would take further responsibility to lead the activities during the day. This is a way to strengthen their commitment to Special Olympics Mauritius. It also embraces the ideology of sustaining the youth committee of Mauritius. It was very satisfying to see Atisha and Ravita, the participants of the upcoming Global Youth Summit in Abu Dhabi, accept the challenge and perform well. This helped them to better understand the role they can play in leading the unified generation. Through our initiatives to encourage unified sports experiences, we had various youths partner and play in unified teams. I was congratulated by the youth for organizing unified sports and giving them the opportunity to have fun along with the athletes. The unified partners promoted unified sports and set up several unified bocce and 5-a-side soccer teams at EWAD School.
For Al, this opportunity gave him another chance to develop his personality. It was an enriching experience to share the knowledge he acquired during the conference in South Africa and the Dominican Republic. As a Health Messenger, he informed the youth on the importance of following a healthy diet and performing physical exercise 3 times per week. He also took the opportunity to demonstrate the Fit 5 exercises to the athletes and other youths with and without intellectual disabilities. Al said leading parts of the events and training for youths with and without intellectual disabilities was a unique experience. Al not only acted as a Health Messenger but also as a Coach and mentor. This project has enabled Al to grow in the program and enhance his leadership skills.
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.