21 March marks the annual World Down’s Syndrome Day (WDSD). The day aims to raise public awareness of Down’s Syndrome and strives to create a global voice that can advocate for the inclusion, well-being and rights of people living with Down’s Syndrome. The theme for WDSD 2019 is “leave no one behind” which is the pledge of the UN’s 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development – a global plan of action for people, planet and prosperity. It is important that every person with Down’s Syndrome, and those who care for them, have equal opportunities to lead a fulfilling life in all aspects of society.
Through our projects, we work with carers of persons living with Down’s Syndrome and aim to ensure that all aspects of their wellbeing are met. Our baseline study in Nepal found that 4% of the carers we contacted provided care for a person with Down’s Syndrome. The condition is also one that is personal to the work of Carers Worldwide and has played a great motivation in the establishment of our organisation. The founders of Carers Worldwide, Ruth and Anil Patil, are parents to daughter Maya who lives with the syndrome. Anil said the following about this circumstance:
“When our own beautiful daughter was born with Down’s Syndrome, my wife and I found ourselves launched into the world of being carers. This was a privilege but also a challenge and we depended on support from a variety of external sources – state, community, professionals, friends and family. It is daunting to imagine ourselves in the same situation but without all these supports. But this is the situation faced by many carers in developing countries.”
Below is a short video of Maya promoting “Lots of Socks” which is a key initiative of WDSD. Socks look like chromosomes and as people with Down’s Syndrome have an extra chromosome it is a great way to raise awareness of the condition! There are many ways you can participate in Lots of Socks which include sponsored odd socks day, sock puppet-making and even guess-whose-feet games!
If you would like to support our work with carers of persons living with Down’s Syndrome you can do so by making a donation today.