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Genes Day for Down syndrome

8 November 2017

THEME: SOCIAL COHESION- “your fit is unique”

A clarion call goes out to all to support the National Day dedicated to Down syndrome Awareness. On Friday, 20th October our country is asked to show solidarity with persons born with Down syndrome.

Down syndrome (DS) is the most common occurring chromosomal condition caused by an extra chromosome 21, with no predilection for race, religion, creed or socio-economic grouping. It is important to have early diagnosis and appropriate intervention. There is a great need to increase awareness of DS in every sphere of life: schools, clinics and hospital; amongst caregivers andschoolteachers; politicians and ordinary citizens; Spreading the word will increase openness on the subject and contribute to better care and supervision.

Down Syndrome South Africa (known as DSSA), established in 1986 as a non-profit organisation has been at the forefront of advocacy and awareness campaigns to spread the word and increase conversations at the dinner tables and boardrooms. Persons born with Down syndrome can be here, there, everywhere given the opportunity. We are all unique and our uniqueness is what makes this world a more unique place. We don’t want to change our children to fit this world but rather change the attitude of the world to fit our children.

If you are having a staff development programme or social event, why not invite some of our young people to be part of the day? Take our young people to work and let them interact with the staff and share their life stories. We invite you to support us by hosting programmes at school, work or the playground where persons with Down syndrome meet you and your friends and workmates. It could be a conversation at a braai, concert or a pamper day. You can enhance your company image by allowing free and open conversations on how to allow the uniqueness to be celebrated. Wear your jeans as you accept your shape and size as a perfect fit. Similarly, accept others as part of the spaces and places we live, work and play.

Your participation through various initiatives can provide platform for persons with Down syndrome to be acknowledged, celebrated and belonging as a member of your community. DOWN SYNDROME SOUTH AFRICA has regional associations/support groups/outreaches across the country that will be hosting activities to celebrate National Down Syndrome Day. These awareness days play an important part in the positive shifts in attitudes towards persons with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities.

How can you make a difference and show your support?

– We ask that you please wear your ‘Jeans’ and go to our website: www.downsyndrome.org.za or Facebook page and click on DONATE in recognition of this National Awareness Day.

Funds raised from this initiative will go towards supporting programmes in our outreach support groups in disadvantaged areas by providing support services to those who need this most.

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