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People with Down syndrome come out in droves to celebrate

People with Down syndrome come out in droves to celebrate

It may seem like semantics but for parents of children with Down syndrome it is important to make the distinction between a person WITH Down syndrome, rather than a Down syndrome person.

Chairperson of the Down Syndrome Association of Namibia, Dr Eline van der Linden, emphasised that any person with a disability is first a person in the fullest sense of the word, and should not be defined by the condition. “Although many children with Down syndrome are not that verbal, they understand a lot more than what is generally perceived,” she said.

The association hosted its third Down Syndrome Day over the weekend at the St George’s sport fields. The day was hugely popular, supported by many families of children with Down syndrome, friends, supporters and 24 volunteers. The celebrations were generously sponsored by the FirstRand Namibia Foundation Trust.

“This day is not only for the children but also for the whole family, friends and ambassadors. It is important that they are not seen as disabled but instead as someone with different abilities,” said Dr van der Linden.

FNB’s Corporate Social Investment Manager, Revonia Kahivere said that the bank was not only in a privileged position to support this wonderful occasion but also enjoyed being part of the day and meeting the wonderful people of the Down Syndrome Association and celebrating and embracing those with Down syndrome.

At the event, she told the parents, “One of the most wonderful experiences is seeing the families with children with special needs come out in numbers to celebrate the achievements of children and adults with Down Syndrome who prove their power and ability through the numerous activities they engage in. You bring your sons and daughters with you because you are proud of them as I am proud of each child today.”

Kahivere singled out Dr van der Linden’s daughter, Namasiku, describing the young girl as a Down syndrome self-advocate. “Namasiku amazes everyone! She has a fighting spirit and never backs down nor give up. She falls, she gets up…even when it means falling seven times and getting up eight times.”


About The Author

Daniel Steinmann

Brief CV of Daniel Steinmann. Born 24 February 1961, Johannesburg. Educated at the University of Pretoria: BA, BA(hons), BD. Postgraduate degrees are in Philosophy and Divinity. Editor of the Namibia Economist since 1991. Daniel Steinmann has steered the Economist as editor for the past 29 years. The newspaper started as a monthly free-sheet, then moved to a weekly paper edition (1996 to 2016), and on 01 December 2016 to a daily digital newspaper at His editorial focus is on economic analysis based on budget analysis, dissecting strategic planning and assessing the impact of policy formulation. For eight years, he hosted a weekly talk-show on NBC Radio, explaining complex economic concepts to a lay audience in a relaxed, conversational manner. He was a founding member of the Editors' Forum of Namibia. Over the years, he has mentored scores of journalism students as interns and as young professional journalists. He often assists economics students, both graduate and post-graduate, to prepare for examinations and moderator reviews. He is the Namibian respondent for the World Economic Survey conducted every quarter for the Ifo Center for Business Cycle Analysis and Surveys at the University of Munich in Germany. He is frequently consulted by NGOs and international analysts on local economic trends and developments. Send comments to [email protected]

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