Our philosophy is built around three core beliefs:
1. The importance of persons with disabilities as contributors to society.
2. As disabled, we refuse overprotection, patronizing and pity by ourselves and by others
3. And be in charge of our own lives. Especially in crisis situations
1. Safety and survival
2. Getting out of our comfort zones
3. The right to be disabled without being discriminated
4. Lifting each other to rise together
5. Focused on the social change
"For 21 years, I lived with a disability I didn’t know about. I always felt bad about my inability to walk as fast as others, which is vital in a war-torn country like Afghanistan. When I learned that I had muscular dystrophy, which doesn't have a cure, I was shattered at first. Now, I know what I—and all others who are disabled—need: no pity, no concern, but skills to cope and stretch more."
Have you ever asked yourself how we, the disabled, survive in war, floods, forest fires, storms and earthquakes Well, I can tell you. I grew up as a disabled child in Afghanistan. Wherever there is war, we have only limited possibilities. We can duck down, hide and might be forgotten. This must change; we have to survive by taking our safety into our own hands.
Therefore, I will start “Stretch More”, a mobile empowerment parkour in which we can empower ourselves through survival skills, entrepreneurship, leadership and sports activities. “STRETCH” stands for “Strengthen, train, reach, expand together and catalyze harmony”. There are times we need to stretch more by pushing ourselves forward to realize our dreams and to get ourselves out of dangerous situations.
Why sports activities? You might think that sports are a luxury, but for those who have only limited possibilities to move, sports activities could be indispensable. They help us step out of our comfort zones and encourage us to follow our own path. Furthermore, sports keep us active, and they could provide us with opportunities to participate in global competitions.
Entrepreneurial skills give us dignity and financial independence. Having our own income means freedom to make decisions, and it provides a buffer to take risks.
Why leadership and survival skills? When training the disabled from crisis areas, leadership, conflict management, mobility, self-defense and first aid must be kept in our focus. We will enhance public speaking skills so that they can be fiery on stage and become good communicators, which is especially important when we have to negotiate with our opponents. This will not only empower us to help ourselves but also enable us to be seen as supporters in tough times.
We, the disabled, will survive only if we manage our own safety and take our dignity under our own responsibility. Stretch more is the future.