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MY IDEA: Global thinking at the local level

Gabriel has cerebral palsy. He cannot hold objects due to his severe muscle spasticity.

But in school, his teachers compel him to write because it is required. The untenable situation forces Gabriel to leave school, in a narrative that plays out in classrooms across the globe. Gabriel’s story is a profound example of how inequality in education remains a deep challenge for children and young people with disabilities worldwide. Recognizing this tremendous problem, the ‘Movement of the Youth for Inclusive Development through Education in ASEAN’ (MY IDEA) was founded.

Quy Nguyen, a Global Youth Ambassador of a World at School, Rolando Jr Villamero, member of the United Nations Secretary General’s Global Education First Initiative Youth Advocacy Group (GEFI-YAG), Kathleen Dawn Young Ricardo, a state alumna from the Southeast Asian Young Leaders Program and Eduard Joseph Narciso, recipient of the Study of the United States Institute for Student Leaders.

Project Leader Kathleen Ricardo conducts a training in the Philippine

Started by four young leaders with diverse experiences in nation-building, social entrepreneurship, education and community development in Vietnam and the Philippines, MY IDEA is creating a sustainable and long-term initiative changing the way children with disabilities are accommodated in the education systems in their two countries. MY IDEA’s programming is made possible with funding from the U.S. Department of State’s Young Southeast ASEAN Leaders Initiative (YSEALI).

With IRI as a mentoring partner, MY IDEA promotes inclusive education among student teachers from the Philippines and Vietnam through Inclusion Caravans and other dynamic activities tailored to cultivate a paradigm shift among budding educators of children with disabilities. To date, MY IDEA has conducted 13 Inclusion Caravan programs in nine teaching institutions across Negros Oriental in the Philippines, reaching more than 1,000 education stakeholders including current and future teachers and government officials.

Rolando Jr. Villamero is one of MY IDEA’s passionate trainers

On December 3, 2015, in recognition of the International Day of Persons with Disabilities, MY IDEA will host simultaneous events in the Philippines and Vietnam. At these three-day inclusive education conventions, current and future teachers, government officials and other stakeholders will come together to share best practices and develop a call to action for inclusive education that will be used by educators, civil society and relevant government officials to advocate for improvements in education for persons with disabilities.

Trainer Eduard Joseph Narciso utilizes some of MY IDEA’s internally developed training materials.

Motivated by their passion for inclusivity in education, MY IDEA is leading a campaign to improve laws and shape social norms to embrace a new perspective on inclusive development in education throughout Southeast Asia.

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The My Idea Team

Kathleen Young Ricardo, Eduard Joseph Narciso, Quy Nguyen and Rolando Villamero Jr.