"We are the leaders of today. We have broken the status quo. And within the next 5-10 years you will see persons with disabilities being leaders, being ministers, and ultimately holding the position of president in our countries."
Seray Bangura, Sierra Leone Young Voices
"The Young Voices are the front line of the disability rights movement. They are taking the crucial agenda of inclusion into the 21st Century." Tanya Barron, LCD
Over the last few days, 21 young activists from across the world have fought jet lag, culture shock and defied communication barriers to take part in an internationalconference about how to draw people with disabilities into the heart of international development.
They are the LCD’s ‘Young voices’ (http://youngvoices.lcdisability.org) who work in 22 countries across the world. Using social media, viral videos, and state of the art music production tools, they have brought the disability rights campaign into the digital era.
In a conference of senior representatives from over 100 development UN agencies and NGOs, the Young Voices have been heralded as the leaders of the future. But as Seray Bangura, of Young Voices Sierra Leone, corrected: they are also the leaders of today.
In China, Young Voices have used social media site QQ to make the Forbidden City less ‘forbidden’ and more accessible to people with disabilities (http://www.lcdisability.org/?lid=22355)
Meanwhile Young Voices from across 13 countries, who attended a unique training workshop in Zambia with Adele’s award-winning producer, Robin Millar, are now working to create ‘virtual studio’ to trigger change (http://www.lcdisability.org/?lid=20652)
Seray’s flagship speech, on belhalf of Young Voices, closed the Bangkok conference and set the tone for the future of inclusive development.
Listen to his speech below.