March 21st of every is regarded as the World Down Syndrome Day, and today, the 14th Edition was celebrated in a grand style, by the Down Syndrome Foundation, and the Yes, We Are Winning foundation (YWAW).
The Yes We Are Winning Foundation, led by it’s Project Coordinator, Afonrinwo Babs ‘Deji with the media director, Olubunmi Olaniyan, and a member of the YWAW team, Kikelomo Olatunde were present at United Nations Information Center, Ikoyi to commemorate the day Collaboration with Down Syndrome Foundation.
The 2019 edition of the World Down Syndrome Day with the theme, “Leave no one behind” the event was graced by dignitaries and important personalities from all works of life including Dame Abimbola Fashola (Former First Lady, Lagos State), human right advocates, as well as parents and partners.
One of the Parents spoke about the challenges faced in fathering a child plagued with both autism spectrum disorder and Down Syndrome. He said “It was a very sad experience having to cope with the reality of nursing a child with Down Sydrome.
In her words, she said, “”Our first child was born with the Down Syndrome. We did all we could to change his condition, spent lots of our resources in several hospital before finally succumbing to fate. When he was growing up, we took him to different schools yet all we got was neglect and bullying from other kids until a friend in South-Africa introduced us to the Down Syndrome Foundation, and today, we are proud parents.”
He concluded by saying “If you have never felt a pain before because of your child, then you aren’t a parent yet.” He finally encouraged the parent, government and individuals to keep supporting this amazing set of people by giving them equal opportunities, showing them unique and genuine love.
Another parent, Alhaji Yahya came in all the way from Kwara State. He mentioned how he first saw the school on TV, then contacted the founder, Mrs. Rose Mordi who has being of great help to his son. The man said “Because of the kind of love my son has gotten, I have also decided to sponsor two children with down syndrome whom I picked on the street. The children are also registered in the foundation”, he enthused.
He then concluded by saying, “My son is 22years old, he can do a whole lot of physical exercises. He’s plays table tennis pretty well, and does some other house chores, and happily married with a child. I think it is better we allow them marry and have a child early, because no one knows tomorrow.”
If there is any father who could have regretted having a child with down syndrome, perhaps the parents of ÌyanuOluwa could be, however, instead of being sad, what brought them tears years ago is now their pride. Their little daughter, ÌyanuOluwa clocks 3 years today (Picture Insert: ÌyanuOluwa with members of Yes We Are Winning Foundation).
The father said, “At a time, everyone neglected us including church members. Even family concluded we take her to the hospital and inject her to die, but we believed God gave us the child for a purpose.”
In conclusion, the Founder of the Down Syndrome Foundation, Mrs. Rose Mordi thanks everyone who came for the event, notably, the Yes We Are Winning Foundation for donating relief materials to the school.
Today will go down a memory lane, as we all reflect, agreed and resolved to stop the bully and neglect of these amazing individuals, instead, we advocate for total inclusion and integration of these ones into the society by giving them equal opportunity.
Part of the extras was exhibition of hand made materials by the students, choreography, video presentations and advocacy recitations by the students.
Yes, We are Winning, WeCEEEyou!
For more on Autism, read: http://WORLD AUTISM DAY: LEAH, HOPELESS AND HAPPY
Written by Afonrinwo Babs ‘Deji
YWAW Project Coordinator.