March 21st is designated as World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD). A day where activities and events are held to raise public awareness, advocating for the rights, inclusion and well being of people with Down syndrome.
Down syndrome is a lifelong condition but with care and support, children who have Down syndrome can grow up to have healthy, happy, productive lives.
To mark this day, the Social Committee of the Soufriere Regional Development Foundation (SRDF) honored the students of the Soufriere Special Education Centre.
According to Mr. Johnson Simon, a member of the committee, “this was a suitable time to interact and spend time with the children at the center.”
Mr. Simon added that the committee is responsible for planning social activities for the benefit of the staff with the intent of incorporating the community into its activities and programs.
Miss Steva St. Jean, teacher at the Special Education Center was thrilled and expressed her sincere appreciation to the committee for their kind-heartedness. “Not many persons come to the school to extend these gestures to the students and we are very grateful to the committee for that.”
She stated that society has placed a stigma on the students where they are referred to as “Dummies” which they are not. She stressed, “the children are special kids, special abled and learn differently at their own paste.”
St Jean is urging society to accept, love and embrace the children for their capabilities since everyone is different.
Additionally the observance of WDSD included the Raise Awareness Campaign or the Mismatched Socks Campaign. This is a worldwide campaign used by World Youth Alliance and centralized under the hashtag #SocksBattle4DS.
The staff of the organization was encouraged to wear mismatched socks for work while posting photos on social media explaining expressing their support for the campaign.