Updated: Jun 11, 2019
The following post was written by Victoria, a 2019 Global Youth Leadership Summit Participant from China. Check out her experience at the Summit, and how she plans to#innovateforinclusion in her community!
My name is Victoria and I am a Special Olympics Youth Leader from China. It was a great honor for me to have the opportunity to attend the 2019 Special Olympics Global Youth Leadership Summit in Abu Dhabi. During the week, I experienced many things that shaped my perspective on leadership and the Unified Generation. As participants, we had the opportunity to engage with people from all over the world with different perspectives and cultures that all had the same passion to lead the Unified Generation. My partner and I shared our Unified practices, experiences, and challenges we faced. The week was incredibly exciting, motivating and interesting.
The Opening Ceremony of the Special Olympics World Games was the highlight of my week. I was able to experience an exciting atmosphere where people from around the world celebrated Special Olympics. The applause never ended as the audience gave their praise, love and respect throughout the two hours of athletes parading into the stadium. These athletes have spent a great deal of time training to let the whole world see who they are and what they can accomplish. Now, it was their time to enjoy the glory. We are lucky that we witnessed history happening before our eyes.
The opportunity to present our Unified projects at an exhibition was another unforgettable experience. We were able to present our project to athletes, families, volunteers and visitors attending the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019. My partner and I prepared a poster that illustrated the details our project, concepts of inclusion, and the goals of our proposed project. When people approached us we gave a brief synopsis about our projects with the intention to light up the fire inside their hearts about inclusion. Based upon the questions we received, everyone was very interested to know more about the Unified Generation, but didn’t know about how to become involved.
During the exhibition, my partner and I even received an interview from CCTV, the National TV Channel in China. With the interview being posted on our national news, we are becoming closer to growing awareness about the Unified Generation. I really appreciate CCTV and other media organizations who have helped us promote the Unified movement. By spreading the idea of unification to all, and explaining our project, we can explain the importance of joining the movement of inclusion.
Just like Soeren Palumbo, Vice President of Special Olympics Global Youth Engagement said, “We are the seeds.” The power of an individual is not big enough to remove all the discrimination and misunderstandings in the world. But with seeds growing into bigger trees and planting new seeds, one day eventually, an inclusive world will not be a goal but a lifestyle in every corner in the world. We will bring the skills we learned and developed during the Global Youth Leadership Summit back to China and drive social inclusion in our schools, communities, cities and country.
The Global Youth Leadership Summit gave me a brand new outlook on the world and provided me the courage and confidence to continue working on my project. I had a great time with everyone at the Summit and I hope to meet everyone again on the Unified stage. Play Unified, be Unified!