Youth Advisory Council: a leadership opportunity for youth with disabilities

“Alone, we go faster; 

together, we go further,”

African proverb

“Alone, we go faster; together, we go further,” asserts an ancient African proverb that encapsulates the philosophy that collectively we can achieve greater things. This is the inspiration behind the Youth Advisory Council, an initiative by Support for Families of Children with Disabilities, to bring young individuals with disabilities together in an innovative and creative platform that considers their unique characteristics to achieve something greater.

What is a Youth Advisory Council?

A Youth Advisory Council is a group of young individuals who provide guidance and support to organizations and governing bodies, actively participating in various projects and community initiatives. These councils enable organizations to forge stronger connections with the community and its youth. By establishing a Youth Advisory Council, Support for Families is investing in the future of young people, giving them a voice and an opportunity to contribute to our organization.

A Youth Advisory Council establishes a two-way relationship between organizational staff and the youth it serves or aims to reach. For Support for Families, this means gaining fresh energy and ideas on organizational challenges, gaining a unique perspective on addressing opportunities, involving future organizational leaders, and increasing awareness among the youth population.

What is the impact?

For Youth Council members, serving on the advisory council provides an avenue to express their needs and expectations from the organization, voice opinions on issues affecting them, engage in meaningful leadership activities, develop problem-solving skills, and form relationships with mentors or peers who share similar experiences. This experience also offers innovative leadership training and connections with mentors and peers who understand their journey.

Currently, the YAC comprises approximately 12 young individuals who gather monthly for various purposes: brainstorming on relevant community issues, advising the organization on youth-related topics, learning new things, and, in essence, spending time with other young people while being themselves. One member expressed, “In the YAC, I felt like I found my community,” as stated by one of the members.

A challenge faced by adolescents with disabilities is the lack of accessible spaces that consider their unique characteristics. This is where the YAC and its collaboration with SFCD come into play: coordinating efforts to create the Youth Group. This alternative provides a quarterly meeting space where community youth can engage in various activities, such as visiting museums, cinemas, karaoke sessions, or sporting events.

Being part of a community helps us develop skills, be independent, and contribute to society.

“In the YAC, I felt like I found my community,”

YAC member

Would you like to join?

If your child wishes to participate in Youth Group events, please send an email to [email protected]