Fashola’s wife, others urge more support for down syndrome kids
As parents of Down syndrome sufferers took turns to narrate their bittersweet ordeal of raising their wards, the hall at the United Nations Information Center in Lagos, venue of the World Down Syndrome Day event, was enveloped with subdued emotions. All suppressed feelings of pity and concern however gave way to enthusiasm and hope when the kids, in a curtain raiser, mounted the stage to sing their theme song – destined to fly.
The theme for this year’s commemoration was ‘Leave No One Behind,’ a message wife of the former governor of Lagos State, Dame Abimbola Fashola and members of the Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria and their partners, re-echoed through speeches and songs to the general public. Fashola said the kids not only need care but survival skills to make them independent of their parents and caregivers.
President of the Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria, Mrs. Rose Mordi, called for more collaboration from the general public to support young adults living with Down syndrome to actively pursue a career path, which they desire and had been trained for.
“All people with Down syndrome must have opportunities to live fulfilling lives, and be included on a full and equal basis with others in all aspects of society, as part of the 2030 United Nations (UN) Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), a global plan of action for people, planet and prosperity, which pledges that no one will be left behind.”
Already, the Initiative for National Growth Africa (INGA) in collaboration with the Street Project Foundation has provided a one month training in fashion, poetry, storytelling and dance creative skills to enrich the down syndrome young adults with social life skills and experiences needed for their physical and mental wellbeing. The aim was to foster talent developmental milestone using creative art.
According to Racheal Inegbedion, the team lead of INGA, the training was conducted to promote team collaboration and good sportsmanship between the young adults living with down syndrome in order to prepare them for a future readiness in employable and career roles.
Also, Miss Amanda Obidike, the Administration Head of INGA stated that the young adults’ communication and social skills had made a significant improvement.