This year marks our 40th Anniversary! To celebrate this milestone we present – VOICES – a monthly series highlighting direct reflections from participants on our exchange programs.
Kicking off the first in the series is Andrea, a San Diego high school participant on our youth exchange program ‘Adaptive Sports for Social Change’ to Vietnam and Laos. She traveled with us to the region in July 2018 and recently shared her experience and its impact on the way she moves through the world.
“It’s good to travel because you get to learn things that you won’t learn in books. You can read about it, you can hear about it, but unless you experience it yourself, you’re never going to know what it’s like.
I think travelling to third world countries is something that’s a must because you get to learn more about yourself, and you get to appreciate a lot more. The day we came back from the village [in Laos], I was telling Heidi that a lot of the kids from my school, we don’t have much as it is. We go to a school that’s for kids who have experienced homelessness. Even with that, we still have education, we still have clothes, we still have food every day, we still have healthcare. And they didn’t. They showered in open places, and they played in a little yard and that was literally all they needed. [That] and the people around them. I think it’s really good to be able to experience things like that, and appreciate those things.”
Thank you to Andrea and all the participants, donors and partners of the Sports Diplomacy Youth Program for Social Changes. “The future belongs to those who believe in the beauty of their dreams” – Eleanor Roosevelt.