World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is a global awareness day which has been officially observed by the United Nations since 2012.
Down syndrome International (DSi) encourages friends all over the world to choose their own activities and events on WDSD to help raise awareness of what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome, and how people with Down Syndrome play a vital role in our lives and communities.
In a message to celebrate the occasion, President of the National Youth Council of Dominica (NYCD) Paul Baron said all persons with Down syndrome must have opportunities to live fulfilling lives on a full and equal basis with others in all aspects of society.
“We believe the task of us in Dominica is not merely raising awareness but to seek inclusion for people with Down syndrome to dismiss the stigma associated with Down Syndrome and to appreciate that all men and women were created equal in the sight of God,” he stated.
According to Baron, as an organization the NYCD and other critical stakeholders are tasked with the job of raising awareness and championing the cause of those living with Down Syndrome.
He said the NYCD is particularly impressed by the first person with Down Syndrome in Dominica, to be integrated in the working world, Allister Abel.
Abel is employed at Jolly’s Pharmacy.
“His success stories prove that someone living with Down syndrome can achieve success in work and life,” Baron indicated.
He commended the work of the Head of the Achievement Learning Centre, Beverly Leblanc, all relevant organizations, caregivers, parents and siblings of the community who care for these individuals on a daily basis.
This year the Global Theme for WDSD is “Leave No One Behind”.