By Nicole Mballah, Young Voices campaigner from Kenya (pictured far right, with fellow campaigners Sara, Argie and Leroy)
In June I was given the wonderful opportunity to attend the Global Partnership for Education replenishment conference held in Brussels, Belgium. This was an inspirational and empowering event for me.
I had the chance to prepare a one page speech on inclusive education and present it during a panel session at the conference. As a young campaigner who advocates for the right to education for persons with disabilities I was able to share the many struggles we go through when accessing education. It is the right of every child regardless of their gender, sexuality, race, or disability to gain an education. We need the help of the community as well as the Government to ensure there are accessible structures and trained teachers for the dream of inclusive education to become a reality.
I was very happy to see a great number of people at the conference taking their time to truly understand the importance of education and give their support to ensure every child has the opportunity to learn. It was even more inspiring that we as young people were given an opportunity to speak openly about what needs to be done and represent the thousands of young people whose voices cannot be heard.
It was amazing to meet so many people who were passionate about disability issues, and to hear inspirational stories from people like Leroy Philips, Young Voices campaigner from Guyana, proving that even with his disability, he was able to gain an education and pave the way for many others. It was an experience I was always cherish.