Creating Lifetimes of Inclusion
Special Olympics Youth Leaders Donatus and Faith plan to cultivate a culture of inclusiveness in the Khomas region of Namibia through Unified Sports. Through their Youth Innovation Project Donatus and Faith will work with other local young people to recruit former Special Olympics athletes to revitalize Unified Sports in the area. Together, the youth leaders and the Special Olympics athletes will advocate for more Unified Sports programs with awareness campaigns and Unified Sports demonstrations at existing sport federations within Namibia.
Through their project, Donatus and Faith will create a database for future use in the community that will store information on former and current Special Olympics athletes in order to help sport federations to integrate athletes with intellectual disability into their clubs. The youth leaders will work with community members to locate, identify and register former athletes – and gain valuable skills such as data collection and public speaking along the way. Donatus and Faith believe that it is important to equip the youth with these skills and involve them in the Special Olympics movement to create a strong foundation for the movement’s future in the Khomas region. Their project also tackles the problem of retaining Special Olympics athletes as they age. They were motivated to reach out to former Special Olympics athletes in order to bring them back into the Special Olympics community as volunteers and coaches.
Donatus and Faith are building a more inclusive community in Khomas through their project. They will continue to foster the mission of Special Olympics Namibia and the belief that “sport is a tool that brings people from diverse cultures, backgrounds and nations together to have fun. Unified Sports is the hope that will bring people with and without intellectual disabilities together to Play Unified and promote the Unified Generation.”