Friendship Moments: An Inclusive Program of Unity School and Special Olympics Indonesia (SOINA)

There was something different in the brim of bell time at Unity School on Thursday (14/12) morning. A group of around forty students guided by their coaches and leaders from Special Olympics Indonesia (SOINA) visited Unity School at a few minutes past seven. The teachers then went down stairs to welcome them with their best smiles and warmest handshakes. “Welcome to Unity School,” said Unity school teachers as they reached out the guests’ hands.

Yet another happy and special day knocked at the door of Unity School. This time, we were honored to collaborate with these special athletes to have a fun- and an inclusive-collaborative day at our yard. All the students both from SOINA and Unity JHS-SHS were so excited to learn and to get inspired from each other. After some minutes of briefing, prayers and welcoming remarks from Mr. Murdi, they savored the breakfast and drinks prepared specially for them. We could feel the atmosphere of respect and friendship along this moment.

Having had their breakfast, the students headed to the basketball court to do aerobic dance together. Songs after songs were being played and students were so jolly and cheerful as they swung their bodies getting both entertained and soaked in sport. They were ready for the day! After Mr. Pius delivered his welcoming remarks, the Unity Student Council members skillfully handled and guided them to do friendship games which will help them create bonding beyond words. Games such as hammers, tug of war, thief-and-police, hunter and squirrel, wind blows, and some others were set from post to post and ready to serve these beautiful kids the joyous event of the day.

It can be clearly seen that all the students participated in these games with great enthusiasm. Beside the games, the Unity students were also given some presentations from excellent students of SOINA who have made our nation proud through their participation and championship in International Special Olympics. It was such a thrilling moments to hear Stephania and Monica who won some medals and became the ambassador for teens with disabilities from Indonesia to the world. Stephania obtained several gold and bronze medals in swimming so far, while Monica had the privilege to visit so many countries and attended leadership trainings. We also had some opportunity to witness how talented SOINA students are, especially when Tasya and some of her friends showed their awesome talent in dancing, having the battle dance with Unity dancers.

Positive feedbacks and comments are mutually given to each others across the auditorium. Unity students were so inspired by the determination and achievements of SOINA students who, embracing their conditions as persons with special needs, yet they could do great and outstanding things! Otherwise, SOINA students and teachers were also impressed by the warm welcome and their sincere acceptance at our school. This kind of inclusion program is one of the good things that the governments want to happen more often at schools in our country.
What a wonderful day to cherish! We are looking forward to seeing you again, SOINA! Thank you for visiting us. (Yudi K)

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