Inclusive Community in the Democratic Republic of the Congo
Stephanie and Kabanga are Special Olympics Youth Leaders from the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). Together, Stephanie and Kabanga will lead a Youth Innovation Project to increase inclusion and acceptance in their community by increasing the number of Unified Schools in their Region and creating new Unified Sports Clubs. Stephanie and Kabanga were inspired by the Special Olympics DRC athletes training for the 2015 Special Olympics World Summer Games in Los Angeles. After attending the training, Stephanie became a Special Olympics Athlete herself, and attended the Special Olympics World Games Abu Dhabi 2019 this year winning a gold medal in the 100 meter race. Kabanga, who had no prior experience with people with intellectual disabilities before was motivated to become a Unified partner and now works closely with the program.
Over the course of three months, Stephanie and Kabanga plan to empower five schools to become Unified Schools and create three new Unified Sports Teams in their Program. Using their position as Youth Leaders in their community, Stephanie and Kabanga will advocate for inclusion and acceptance for those people with intellectual disabilities. They will to build relationships within their community in order to further gain support for their project. They both believe that Unified Sports and Unified Schools are the way to strengthen inclusion in their community, enable young people with and without intellectual disabilities to improve their quality of life and build the Unified Generation.