Irish Volunteers Make Special Olympics Extra Special
By Freda Kambangula, 13, and Chantel Van Wyk, 15
Scholastic News Online Student Reporters, Namibia
Global Youth Summit participants from Namibia, Chantal Van Wyk (left) and Freda Kambangula (right) interview Dean Stout, one of 35,000 Irish volunteers helping out at the Special Olympics World Games in Dublin, Ireland. With them are the Global Youth Summit members from Chili, Maximo Pacheco and Cristian Maluje. (Photo: Charles Nyambe)

June 23—On a normal day in Dean Stout's life he is at his job working for the City Council in Dublin. While the Special Olympics World Games are in staging its games in his city of Dublin, Ireland, however, Dean works as a volunteer. He spends hours a day, and has been volunteering for four weeks.

Dean is not a sportsman, but loves to help other people. He has not traveled much around the world, he says, but has been to Europe and Egypt.

Dean got involved in Special Olympics when he saw a story on the Games on television. He was very excited and signed up as a volunteer. His dream came true when he was contacted to get involved in this event.

He says he assists an average of 50 to 60 people a day and he loves it. He is inspired by helping people with their needs.

"I wish this could go on for a month," he said. "This is better than day-to-day routine."

So far, the highlight of the Games for him were the opening ceremonies, especially when the torch was lit.

"I have seen this on television before, but I had never experienced it until now," he said. "What an experience!"