Membership in a youth movement is a formative aspect of growing up in Israel and around the globe. Yet the majority of youth movements cannot accommodate youth with disabilities. Estimates suggest that there are about 200 million youth with disabilities worldwide, and nearly 80 percent of them live in developing countries.
All of the issues that affect young people, such as access to education, and building their social life, also affect youth with disabilities, but in a far more complex way. Attitudes and discrimination linked to disability make it much more difficult for them to go to school, to make friends and participate in local activities. In many communities, both rural and urban, the environment is immensely challenging with physical and communication barriers that make it hard for them to participate in social life.
Krembo Wings is a youth movement specifically designed for children with severe disabilities, connecting them with their peers for weekly social activities. Established in 2002, Krembo Wings currently operates throughout Israel and provides services for more than 7,500 youth with and without disabilities. Krembo Wings' provides a crucial social service for children with disabilities as well as an educational and empowering extracurricular activity for youth of all abilities, who volunteer as counselors. Our motto is "together, creating a meaningful place for everyone" – and this means for youth of all abilities and backgrounds. Krembo Wings is a place where everyone is equal and everyone truly belongs.
In the past year of 2021, the organization continued to work according to the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UN CRPD), and provided inclusive social activities both face to face and throw a variety of media platforms.
Krembo wings also believes that fighting stigmas, attitudes and discrimination needs to start from a young age, therefore we started training kindergarten teachers to educate the very young ones how to be more inclusive and embrace the differences between us. Recognizing the power of teens in general, and teens with disabilities within them, and believing in "not about me without me" we are pleased with the opportunity given this year at the Global Disability Summit for youth to take part in expressing their opinions and needs to the global community, and having their right to stand up for themselves.
We are also excited that the GDS Youth Summit 2022, being organized under the auspice of the Global Disability Summit 2022 (GDS22), will mobilize efforts for the implementation of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD), the principle of ‘Leaving No One Behind’ (LNOB) of the Sustainable Development Goals, and on building back better and more inclusive with regards to Covid-19. It will be an opportunity to strengthen disability inclusive development and provide a platform to secure financial and political commitments by national governments, bilateral and multilateral donors, the private sector, civil society organizations, and Organizations of Persons with Disabilities (OPDs).
Our call to action: We would like to call for submissions of commitments to provide crucial social activities in an accepting and encouraging environment for children and youth with all abilities. We call for this, to contribute towards a more tolerant and inclusive society for all us!
• Read more about the Global Disability Summit
• Read about the “30 Days of Youth” Campaign
• Read about the GDS Youth Summit 2022