Empowering Self-Advocacy in Zimbabwe

Makaita and Ayisha are Special Olympics Youth Leaders from Zimbabwe who will lead a Youth Innovation Project to educate young people with and without intellectual disabilities about the abuse many face, and empower them to be their own advocate. Makaita and Ayisha have recognized the ill treatment and sexual abuse many people with intellectual disabilities face in their community and that often times, these individuals do not have the resources needed to advocate for themselves. Through this project, Makaita and Ayisha will work to form inclusive groups in schools and communities to educate and train young people to be their own advocate. In October 2019, Makaita and Ayisha participated in the Special Olympics Africa Regional Youth Leadership Summit in Nairobi, Kenya and learned how the importance of youth leadership and engagement can lead to a stronger Unified Generation.


Over the course of six months, Makaita and Ayisha will engage and train over 150 individuals with and without intellectual disabilities to serve as certified peer educators. Makaita and Ayisha hope the inclusive groups will create an environment where members can openly discuss sexual health. They believe that by opening up these important conversations, they can create broad social change and engage policy makers. Makaita and Ayisha are proud to be members of the Unified Generation where people look beyond differences and support each other socially, emotionally, and intellectually. Through their project, Makaita and Ayisha are ensuring that all members of the Unified Generation feel safe, respected, and included.