Reducing Stigma by Raising Awareness

Gounlénn and Aicha are Special Olympics Youth Leaders from Togo who participated in the 2019 Special Olympics Africa Family and Sibling Workshop. Together, Gounlénn and Aicha will lead a Youth Innovation Project aiming to increase acceptance of youth with intellectual disabilities in their community. Gounlénn and Aicha will draw from their previous experience with past Special Olympics forums, summits, and activities to encourage schools in their community to become Unified Schools, committed to creating an inclusive environment for youth with intellectual disabilities.     


Over the course of twelve months, Gounlénn and Aicha will engage a new generation of Youth Leaders and Special Olympics athletes. Gounlénn and Aicha will establish new Unified Schools to provide opportunities for youth with and without intellectual disabilities. Gounlénn and Aicha hope their project will engage 100 athletes with intellectual disabilities and 500 community members without intellectual disabilities. Gounlénn and Aicha are empowering members of their community to join the Unified Generation by using sports to reduce stigma and increasing access to Special Olympics opportunities.