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.”