Young Voices speak up on International Youth Day

12 August 2014

Today is International Youth Day, an opportunity to celebrate the achievements of the world’s youth and encourage their participation in enhancing society.

To mark the day, we asked our Young Voices campaigners to tell us what their hopes and dreams are for young disabled people around the world.

‘I want to see persons with disabilities around the world crazy to study, crazy to work, crazy to share and crazy to achieve. I want to see inclusive education from primary school up to university, so that persons with disabilities can easily get an education in my country.’ — Sikdam, Indonesia

Portrait of Wanja

‘My vision for young persons with disabilities in Africa is to see them empowered in all the spheres of their lives, economically, socially and politically. I would like the world to know that young people are not homogenous. Some have disabilities, some are from slums areas, some from rural areas, some have HIV/AIDS – and so on. Treating young people as homogenous is counterproductive and self-defeating in the long run.’ — Wanja, Kenya

‘We want to see a rise in the rate at which young persons with disabilities are being employed, as well as an improvement in access to public spaces. We also want to see an increase in the enrolment of children with disabilities in mainstream schools, and teachers equipped with the skills they need to support them. This will help to ensure persons with disabilities have more formal employment opportunities rather than just vocational work.’ — Josephine and other campaigners from Uganda

Portrait of Leroy

‘I want persons with disabilities to be more proactive in demanding for their rights to be respected. We should press on to achieve our goals at all levels regardless of challenges – the only time success comes before work is in a dictionary!’ — Leroy from Guyana

‘I want to see a changing perspective in the world, where we as persons with disabilities have a dream and never give up to show how important we are. I want to see equality in education and employment, as well as accessible facilities, for persons with disabilities in Indonesia.’ — Surya from Indonesia

‘I want an improvement of empowerment of all persons with disabilities. I also want to encourage all nations to improve the inclusion of persons with disabilities in all sectors in society.’ — Theogene from Rwanda

Portrait of Yaaseen receiving an award

‘I want the rights of persons with disabilities to be respected and for us to be part of global transformation and development in the world. I would like inclusive education and accessibility to become a reality in Mauritius. I want all kinds of discrimination towards men and women with disabilities to be eradicated completely.’ — Yaaseen from Mauritius

‘I have always dreamt that there will be a change in the status quo for disability. In our country, the Philippines, we have very good laws and policies but they have stayed purely on paper, they have not been fully realised. There have been some small changes, but what I really want is change that will be felt by the persons with disabilities that have really been left behind in development.’ — Mark from the Philippines

Portrait of Tongai

‘The plight of persons with disabilities is a result of a tapestry of denied human rights. I have a dream for a world in which all the rights of persons with disabilities are respected, protected and fulfilled. If this happens, creation of a disability inclusive society won’t be a difficulty.’ — Tongai from Zimbabwe

Find out more about our Young Voices project.


Powerful statements from the young voice members! May their hopes, aspirations and dreams be realized not only for themselves but for people with disabilities everywhere.

Amazing! Thanks for the inspiration! :)


Add new comment