The following post was written by Luis and Loyda, two Special Olympics youth leaders from El Salvador. The pair make it their mission to strengthen inclusion in their community. Check out how they #innovateforinclusion!
I really liked having the opportunity to lead this project because we can be the voice of inclusion by participating in activities together.
My Unified Partner, Loyda, is a very friendly person I was able to work with to organize and sensitize people to our mission by explaining our motivation for this healthy initiative. We are passionate about our project because it is very popular and there are many young people like us who participate in races.
Companies were very willing to partner with us when we asked for support to carry out this event because it is very popular. But out biggest help came from all of the young volunteers who joined us. At first they did not understand our mission but when we explained it to them many came to support us more directly. We really enjoyed having their help. We also invited young people with intellectual disabilities to help our committees on the logistics of the race. It was a very inclusive environment.
We held several sensitization sessions for our participants. Loyda could not participate in a few because she was participating in international competitions but afterwards she joined us to carry out our project. When Loyda came back it was much better because she told us about her experience at world games.
As a Youth Leader, I was very happy to participate in planning and executing the project. I liked it a lot and I am committed to continue helping. It was gratifying to see the integration and inclusion, especially from the families who supported us from the beginning.
It was a good project and we were excited to bring the voice of inclusion to different areas in our community!
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.