By bringing youth with and without disabilities together to play on the same team, Inclusion for All, a joint initiative between USAID and Special Olympics, has impacted lives throughout Montenegro by building awareness, fostering friendships, and boosting social unity. The results are clear - 66% of Unified partners (those without disabilities) said their attitudes towards inclusivity had improved, and 60% of athletes with disabilities reported that they felt more accepted since taking part. Even more amazingly, 100% of participants indicated that they wanted to continue to play!
“This is inclusion on a very different and good level. This is something that was never done in our community,” said Radojka Koprivica, a local project coordinator.
In addition to sporting events, participants’ understanding of young people with and without intellectual disabilities greatly increased through capacity building seminars. In addition to sporting events, participants’ understanding of young people with and without intellectual disabilities greatly increased through capacity building seminars. Among those who took part in the final seminar, 48% reported that Inclusion for All had taught them new ways to create inclusive activities and 86% said their actions and work would change because of the program. Although the program concludes in August, the legacy of Inclusion for All will be felt across Montenegrin communities for months and years to come.
About Emily Klinger: Senior Manager, Global Development