“I am proud of being an inclusion ambassador and want to show it to the world”
Ambassadors for Inclusion is a programme developed to empower youth with disabilities to be multipliers of messages of protection, violence prevention and sensitization about inclusion.
Ambassadors for Inclusion is a programme developed by the Foundation Vanessa Peretti and UNICEF with the objective to capacitate youth with disabilities and empower them in various themes through workshops and experiential activities about inclusion, diversity and disability, types of violence, safeguarding policies, gender perspectives, leadership, human rights, the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, policies against sexual exploitation and abuse, mental health and safe care, and teamwork, among others.
She explained in an interview that during the Ambassadors for Inclusion programme, youth participated in various activities that strengthened their leadership capacities, empathy, and training in gender perspective and violence prevention.
“We worked important concepts such as teamwork and leadership; it was an incredible experience as much for the training process because we acquired important concepts such as all types of violence, gender perspective, and all about our rights”, explains Alejandra Hernández, enrolled in the programme.
During the interview, Alejandra also explained the importance of having interacted with youth with various disabilities and being able to overcome communication barriers among them, highlighting the initial communication barriers between persons with visual impairments and persons with auditory impairments.
“We talked about our fears and insecurities; it was very emotional and beautiful. None among us are the same after the programme; we have overcome many fears by participating. Now we are Ambassadors for Inclusion,” sums up Alejandra.
The youth also participated in developing accessible materials designed during the project and validated accessibility criteria for videos, handouts, and other materials adapted for different types of disabilities, facing the challenges inherent to reaching a truly inclusive outcome.
Overview of inclusive material developed with the support of the Ambassadors for Inclusion programme participants who helped with the adaptation and interpretation of the materials for different types of disabilities.
“As Ambassadors, we have the responsibility to carry the inclusion message, first for ourselves because first, you must believe it to be able to transmit it to others with conviction; now we work in an inclusive manner, all with all”, explains Alejandra Hernández.
Since 2022, 4,208 boys, girls, adolescents, fathers, mothers, representatives, and caregivers have received services in child protection, psychosocial support, capacitation in positive parenting with a focus on inclusion, prevention, and response to violence, including gender violence, mechanisms for complaint and identification of barriers that prevent boys, girls, and adolescents with disabilities and their families from accessing services and assert their rights.