Conferences Promoting the Unified Generation

Gizem and Yalkin are Special Olympics Youth Leaders in Turkey. Through their Youth Innovation Project, Gizem and Yalkin will lead a three-day conference for youth from nine different cities in Turkey to share and learn together as part of the Unified movement. During the meetings, 18 Special Olympics Youth Leaders with and without intellectual disability, will learn through sessions about effective communication, responsibilities as a Youth Leader, self-confidence, and the importance of sports.


Activities will be designed based on youth leader preferences, ideas, and feedback shared in previous meetings. Gizem and Yalkin hope to make this experience a valuable learning opportunity for all participants that serves as a meaningful opportunity for involvement. By creating a space to improve social and personal abilities over a three-day period, these youth leaders will be able to use the information and skills they learn to change the world and make a positive impact on their communities.


Both Gizem and Yalkin participated in a conference hosted by Special Olympics Turkey in the past year and wanted to expand their experience and invite emerging youth leaders to attend. With experience at a conference, both are excited to use their knowledge and lead others to be self-advocators of social inclusion. They cannot wait to see how the strength and support of all Special Olympics Youth Leaders encourages conversations amongst youth with and without intellectual disability in the community.


For Gizem and Yalkin, being part of the Unified Generation is “about accepting the differences between people as a group where the differences become the new challenging paths of learning.” This generation is changing and shaping the future of inclusion, and these two are excited to see how their impact will increase togetherness and empathetic thinking in Turkey and around the world.