Accept Me as I Am: The Song of the Unified Generation
Marie and Danielle are Special Olympics Youth Leaders in Cote d’Ivoire with plans to work together to develop a song of acceptance in their country. As their Youth Innovation Project, Marie and Danielle plan to create a new single: “Accept Me as I Am.”
Marie and Danielle will use their Innovation Grant to develop their single alongside a group of youth singers with and without intellectual disabilities and with the help of some music professionals. The song aims to promote acceptance and inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities in society. Marie and Danielle also hope to develop a music video featuring people with and without intellectual disability to accompany their song. Once made, the video track will be screened in a theatre. Both the song and the video will give the opportunity for people with intellectual disability to express themselves by emphasizing their potential talents. After the development of the song and the screening of the video, Marie and Danielle will contact professional musicians to perform the song throughout their country.
The Youth Activation Coordinator of francophone countries in the Special Olympics Africa Region, Kamil Kouakou, has taken an active role in mentoring all of the Youth Innovation Project leaders from Cote d’Ivoire. He believes that Marie and Danielle’s song and video will show that “there is no difference in capabilities” between people with and without intellectual disability and that we are all “living on the same turf.” He also believes that this song will help propel the Unified Generation, which Kamil describes as “creating a school, community or social environment where people with intellectual disabilities feel well integrated without suffering from any discrimination. A society where people accept them with their differences, valuing their abilities.” And that is the exact idea that “Accept Me as I Am” will emphasize in song.