Support & empower 1400+ persons with Down syndrome

by Karachi Down Syndrome Program
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Support & empower 1400+ persons with Down syndrome
Support & empower 1400+ persons with Down syndrome
Support & empower 1400+ persons with Down syndrome
Support & empower 1400+ persons with Down syndrome
Support & empower 1400+ persons with Down syndrome
Support & empower 1400+ persons with Down syndrome
Support & empower 1400+ persons with Down syndrome
Support & empower 1400+ persons with Down syndrome
Support & empower 1400+ persons with Down syndrome
Support & empower 1400+ persons with Down syndrome
Support & empower 1400+ persons with Down syndrome
Support & empower 1400+ persons with Down syndrome
Support & empower 1400+ persons with Down syndrome
Support & empower 1400+ persons with Down syndrome
Support & empower 1400+ persons with Down syndrome
The theme of this quarter was Spread Love !
The theme of this quarter was Spread Love !

Dear Supporters,

This quarter at the Karachi Down Syndrome Program (KDSP), we tried to build a more loving world, with celebrations, creating relationships and awareness featuring the World Down Syndrome Day on 21st March. KDSP celebrated the day with great enthusiasm by holding the Annual KDSP Carnival in March, an inclusive event with entertainment and activities for the community. The theme of this quarter was, “Pyaar Baanto” which means to spread love and all our activities were designed around this theme. Your support is a commitment to our shared goals and collective values of an inclusive society.

Below mentioned are some of the highlights from this quarter:

Early Childhood Intervention (physical, occupational and speech therapies):

  • 360+ therapy sessions were scheduled weekly.
  • 22 children enrolled in therapies this quarter.
  • KDSP hired two new physical therapists, three new speech therapists as well as six speech therapy interns to meet the demand for therapies, ensuring that young children with Down syndrome receive interventions timely.
  • KDSP presented its paper, ‘The Virtual Shift: Early Childhood Intervention Therapies for Pakistani Children with Down Syndrome During COVID-19,’ at two conferences:   
  • ICON 22, a conference hosted by The Indus Hospital (TIH).
  • International Annual Conference at Centre for Business and Economics Research (CBER), hosted by the Institute of Business Administration (IBA).
  • Dr. Nadia Ashiq, Head of Physical Therapy at KDSP delivered a session at Indus University (IU) on, “Child Growth & Development Patterns.” Engaging the audience with the latest research in the field, Dr. Nadia guided attendees on principles of typical and neurodivergent developmental trajectories.
  • Ms. Samar Naqvi, CEO at KDSP and Dr. Nadia Ashiq, Head of Physical Therapy at KDSP were invited by Iqra University for a seminar on World Down Syndrome Day, as more organizations shift to adopting inclusive practices.


Healthcare:

  • 48 children benefitted from KDSP referrals to the Down Syndrome Clinic at Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH), where they received appropriate medical intervention from renowned specialists.
  • 9 medical tests were facilitated at AKUH through KDSP’s referrals.
  • 2 life-enhancing medical procedures were sponsored by KDSP.
  • 29 children benefitted from the Developmental Pediatrics Consulting Clinic at KDSP led by Dr. Sidra Kaleem, a renowned developmental pediatrician.
  • In February, the healthcare department at KDSP signed an MoU with Dr. Essa Laboratory & Diagnostic Centre, to provide medical testing services at subsidized costs for individuals with Down syndrome all across Pakistan.
  • KDSP organized an Eye Testing Clinic in March, to help screen for common ophthalmological problems faced by individuals with Down syndrome.Testing was also done for refractive errors, and attendees were prescribed their glasses accordingly.
  • Through a collaboration with US-based eyewear company, Specs4Us, KDSP also distributed free of cost eye-glasses to the attendees requiring prescription glasses. These glasses have been specially designed for individuals with Down syndrome.

Education:

  • A fun-filled day was organized on Christmas, a tree was placed in the classroom with little presents under the tree, to promote the concept of inclusion and acceptance in every form.
  • In December, a Fun Gala was organized on the last day of term for students on the fifth floor activity room. The event included bowling for kids, hair makeover, nail painting, face painting, art and craft station and snacks. It was a fun-filled event for both the parent and child!
  • In March, on World Down Syndrome Day, the team arranged a field trip for students and their parents to a renowned Cafe. Children got to explore and have fun in their play area with the help of the team and the employees there. The whole place was decorated with KDSP themed colours and nursery rhymes by a famous Pakistani musician, Bilal Maqsood.
  • In January, KDSP established a partnership for inclusive education with Dawood Public School.
  • In February, Meet and Greet for Tailored Assistance Program (TAP) Batch of 2022 was organized. Pre-test assessments on the performance of all new TAP students in the batch of 2022 were conducted during a two hour session which included various activities to help the children bond with their facilitators and adjust to the classroom.
  • In January, winter activity, “Hot Milk and Mittens”, was conducted for TAP students. They learned that because winter is the season of snow, frost and cold winds, we should wear coats, jackets, gloves and caps and drink hot tea, coffee, and soup to stay warm. 
  • In January, ‘First Aid Kit Making’ activity was held. Students made first aid kits to help them understand that injuries happen, and that the adults around them can help them heal. Students learned about the importance of preventing injuries before they occur and how to handle emergencies with basic supplies to help their loved ones when they are hurt.
  • Students participated in the 23rd March Pakistan day activities, which were full of celebration and where they learned patriotic songs and about the historical monument, Minar-e-Pakistan.
  • In January, a meet and greet session for the first and second batches of Remote Education and Learning for Youth (RELY) parents was held over Zoom with the objective to hear out the parents’ responses to RELY and to sort out any queries they may have.
  • In February, an orientation session and the first parent training session for the new batch was held in order to give parents a brief introduction of the program along with basic home schooling tips.
  • In March, students of TAP and RELY went on a field trip to the Special Olympics Pakistan (SOP) Playroom, where they engaged in numerous hands-on activities.

Awareness:

  • A total of 1050+ individuals were educated regarding Down syndrome in this quarter. KDSP conducted awareness sessions at educational institutes, corporations and organizations. In these sessions, the audience was sensitized on what Down syndrome is, the preferred language that should be used and the importance of including such individuals within society.
  • Guided tours within KDSP were also conducted for people to experience firsthand interactions with these beautiful souls with Down syndrome while being part of different activities.
  • In March, KDSP and NOWPDP collaborated to create a roadmap to address and dispel the myths and stigmas related to individuals with disabilities thought a Media Sensitization Workshop. This event was hosted at KDSP with a gathering of about 15+ individuals from different news channels coming together for this workshop.
  • KDSP Carnival, the biggest occasion of KDSP took place after a year on the 20th of March in celebration of World Down Syndrome Day. The purpose annually is to create a safe and inclusive space for not only individuals with Down syndrome but also for individuals with other forms of disabilities. The KDSP Carnival is a snapshot of what we hope for society to become one day. 
  • For this World Down Syndrome Day, KDSP created a video showing a different perspective- the importance of mainstream inclusive education and its benefits for typical children as well as children with Down syndrome.
  • KDSP participated in Karachi Eat 2022 held on 14th - 16th January 2022. People showed great love towards the enrichment products and children and adults alike contributed generously to the cause of KDSP. Enrichment and Skills Development:
  • KDSP launched a new program called, the Playhouse Club. It is for children in the age group of 4 to 12, with fun activities which can help them grow their creative minds and allow them to let their creativity/thoughts out in any way possible.
  • Students with Down syndrome enrolled in KDSP’s Life Skill program graduated and completed one year long coursework (Feb 2021 to March 2022). Throughout the year, students learned and practiced daily living skills such as self-care, communication, social, money and time management skills to become a functional member of the community. The students were provided with certification for successful completion of the module.
  • The Body Shop and KDSP collaborated to arrange a week full of fun and learning for individuals with Down syndrome in December 2021. The week consisted of clay art sessions, storytelling, block printing, a trip to the beach and The Body Shop store in Dolmen Mall. It was an experiential learning for our students who learned the main functions of running a successful beauty & skincare store. They also got the chance to try some new catchy lip colours, and some delightful fragrances at the store. The activities also offered an opportunity for The Body Shop team to bond with the participants.
  • KDSP arranged a fun-filled day for our individuals with Down syndrome enrolled in the Tailored Assistance Program and Life Skills Program, where they visited the ‘TDF MagnifiScience Centre’ on Wednesday, 12th January 2022. The students enjoyed exploring and learning about various scientific concepts and technology.
  • After two years, KDSP was able to revive its beach retreat event on 12th December 2021. It was a bright sunny day and we along with our family network made sure to make a beautiful picnic of it. There were fun activities, food, music and waves. There is nothing better than some sea breeze and our children enjoying it along the way.
  • Team of our KDSP athletes went to a sports day on 16th December 2021 for 25 meter race. It was a new, fun experience for our children! They made new friends and won different positions and medals.
  • In January, KDSP conducted a jewelry making class on where students got exposure to basic knotting techniques to make handcrafted jewelry.
  • KDSP started a new batch for its ‘Fit 5’ program with Special Olympics Pakistan (SOP). While the previous batch was shifted to Fit and Fun program at KDSP, which is an advanced level of exercises and activities.
  • Dreamworld Family Resort is providing free of cost one year program to KDSP’s family network, providing individuals with Down syndrome with recreational facilities.
  • KDSP and Karachi Vocational Training Center (KVTC) signed a MoU on 14th Jan 2022 for the larger goal of initiating and running collaborative programs that will benefit individuals with Down syndrome through the exchange of professional expertise and information.
  • Crafters with Down syndrome had their products displayed for sale at the Karachi Eat Festival (14th - 16th January 2022) and KDSP Carnival (20th March 2022).

Family Support:

  • A total of 1439 families have now become part of the KDSP Family Network.
  • Since January, 89 new families have been enrolled into our Network via the Family First Contact meetings
  • 62 parents benefitted from monthly informational family support group sessions on diverse topics related to speech and physical therapy.
  • 10 new parents completed the parent peer counseling program taking the total number to 30 trained parent peer counselors. 
  • 10 new families have been connected with peer support mentors through parent peer counseling program enabling KDSP to offer informational and emotional support. 
  • 80 households have been supported bimonthly through disbursement of grocery bags within the quarter and 45 families have been supported through monthly Easy Paisa cash transfers.
  • In January, a workshop was organized on “Behavior Management for Caregivers of Individuals with Down Syndrome” which benefitted 15 parents. The workshop led by experts was divided into two sessions, understanding parents’ perspective and understanding, managing and teaching behaviors.
  • In March, KDSP organized a training for parents and caregivers on puberty and psycho-sexual awareness “Supporting Your Child with Down Syndrome Through Puberty”. The training benefitted a total of 21 parents and caregivers of individuals with Down syndrome
  • In April, KDSP launched an emotional support group for parents and caregivers of children enrolled in The Early Pre-school Experience Program (EPEP) to provide a safe space for them to share their worries, challenges and emotions.

Some stories from the field:

“We eagerly wait for the KDSP Carnival just as kids wait for Eid (a religious festival). We are always excited for this day. This particular day we feel a different kind of happiness as we know that it is a place where my child is celebrated.” -Ambreen, mother of Ziyam.

“The family support sessions are very impressive and motivational. They surely are very helpful and informative for guardians of individuals with Down syndrome. I appreciate KDSP’s efforts in arranging these sessions and I look forward to attending more in the future.” Shahnaz, mother of Mahad.

“Fahad is 9 years old. He is very fond of sports and outdoor activities. Fahad and his parents’ efforts have been a source of motivation for both the facilitators and other students. His ability to learn quickly and put his heart and soul into all his tasks is the reason behind his progress in all aspects of literacy, numeracy and life skills.”- Sana, Tailored Assistance Program facilitator at KDSP.

“We were looking for homeschooling for Rameen and were unsuccessful. In the pandemic we were really afraid of sending her to a regular school. Remote Education and Learning for Youth (RELY) at KDSP is the best school for her. The way facilitators conduct the program, understand her and other students’ needs, it has helped all of us. The curriculum selected is also great. We really appreciate all the efforts that you and the entire team have put in!” – Mother of Rameen.

“Finding KDSP was like a ray of hope in the dark. My daughter was a weak child when she was born and her heart condition put her under a lot of stress. Despite residing in Shikarpur, I travelled to Karachi after registering at KDSP to get Umaima the best help possible. KDSP not only provided financial assistance for her angiography but now also support us regularly with her medicines which she must take until she is stable and healthy enough to undergo heart surgery. The team at KDSP has always been there to listen to our concerns and provide for my daughter. I do not have the words to thank them for their support.”- Mazhar, father of Umaima.

“Therapies have made a huge impact on my son’s life. Although it has been only 10 months since Omer is taking therapies at KDSP, there have been so many improvements. Before we were worried with his behaviors, he was usually distracted in his activities despite our efforts. His therapists at KDSP however are a god-send, he is much calmer now and even helps around the house. He helps set the dinner table and plays with his brother. Through speech therapy, Omer has also started stringing words and can form single sentences at a time. I am extremely grateful to KDSP and so proud of all that my son has achieved.”-Nazish, father of Omer.

Thank you for your love and donations, it creates a pathway for success for individuals with Down syndrome and helps us build an inclusive society.

Love,

Team KDSP

KDSP x The Body Shop Collaboration
KDSP x The Body Shop Collaboration
KDSP students at TDF MagnifiScience Centre
KDSP students at TDF MagnifiScience Centre
Awareness Session at Dawood Public School
Awareness Session at Dawood Public School
Awareness session at the Indus Hospital
Awareness session at the Indus Hospital
KDSP kids enjoying at Dreamworld Family Resort
KDSP kids enjoying at Dreamworld Family Resort
A young girl enjoying at the Fun Gala!
A young girl enjoying at the Fun Gala!
Kid engaging with learning tools at a cafe
Kid engaging with learning tools at a cafe
A family enjoying at the KDSP Carnival
A family enjoying at the KDSP Carnival
KDSP x Specs4US collaboration
KDSP x Specs4US collaboration

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Celebrating Down Syndrome Awareness Month
Celebrating Down Syndrome Awareness Month

Dear Supporters,

This quarter at the Karachi Down Syndrome Program (KDSP) was full of celebrations and creating awareness featuring the Down Syndrome Awareness month in October. The team took upon new ideas and initiatives to instill feelings of happiness and excitement in individuals with Down syndrome and their families, as they returned towards routine living. As a result, remarkable performances and faces that beamed with happiness were observed.

Below mentioned are some of the highlights from this quarter:

 

Early Childhood Intervention (physical, occupational and speech therapies):

  • KDSP presented its paper, ‘The Virtual Shift: Early Childhood Intervention Therapies for Pakistani Children with Down Syndrome During COVID-19’ in the Virtual World Down Syndrome Congress 2021 held in Dubai. The research paper was further selected to be published in the Review of Disability Studies: An International Journal for their upcoming issue.
  • In-person therapy clinics operated at full capacity for Karachi based members with 259+ therapy sessions conducted weekly. Virtual sessions continued for out of Karachi clients.
  • Collaboration with Ethiopia based Deborah Foundation was established to offer Occupational, Physical and Speech Therapy training to the Deborah Foundation.

Healthcare:

  • 60 children benefitted from referrals KDSP made to the Down Syndrome Clinic at Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH) where they were able to receive appropriate medical intervention from renowned specialists.
  • 17 medical tests were facilitated at AKUH through KDSP’s referrals.
  • 4 children’s life-saving and life-enhancing medical procedures were sponsored by KDSP, facilitated at AKUH.
  • 16 children benefitted from the Developmental Pediatrics Consulting Clinic at KDSP led by Dr. Sidra Kaleem, a renowned Developmental Pediatrician.

 

Education:

  • Early Preschool Program held designated colour days to conduct activities to help children get familiarised with colours; 26 children benefitted from the activities. Resource packs were also given by teachers to parents for home assignments and for reinforcing activities at home, and trainings were held to explain parents the utilisation of materials from these resource packs.
  • As part of the home-school program, 17 parents were given guidance on how to cultivate an environment at home that is conducive to the learning of their child.
  • To celebrate Down syndrome awareness month 7 children attending the afterschool program were taken for a cruise trip along with their parents.
  • An orientation session was also held to train 18 new teachers from various mainstream schools on the basis of the Down syndrome profile.
  • 6 new children attended mainstream schools.

 

Awareness:

  • The ‘Down Syndrome Awareness Month’ (October) themed “A ripple of change today, a wave of inclusion tomorrow” was celebrated through different initiatives and events throughout the month.
  • Several awareness sessions were conducted with renowned organizations such as Ismail Industries Limited, Soorty Enterprises, 10Pearls, AAA Hospitality, Orange Tree Foundation, Legal Aid Society and Sheikh Khalifa Bin Zaid School in which 343+ people were sensitized.
  • Famous celebrities and KDSP’s Goodwill Ambassadors, Ali Hamza and Hasan Rizvi joined us for Music & Movement and Paper Crafts to celebrate Down Syndrome Awareness month. The day was full of joy, sweet laughter and warm hearts!
  • KDSP collaborated with different restaurants to help pave the way for an inclusive and equitable society by having donation boxes placed and giving customers complimentary Down syndrome themed customized cookies.
  • Several appearances were made by representatives of KDSP on mainstream media throughout the month of October to create awareness amongst masses about Down syndrome.

 

Enrichment and Skills Development:

  • KDSP and Pro Athletic Cricket Club collaborated for a fun and energetic Cricket class in September; around 22 individuals with Down syndrome ages 10 and above participated and enjoyed.
  • Pearl-Continental (PC) Hotel Karachi organized a special event for children with Down syndrome and their families to promote inclusion. An inclusive painting activity in which the hotel’s staff also participated was enjoyed by all; 20 children and their families participated. Hi-tea was also arranged by the Hotel for children and their caregivers.
  • KDSP and ‘7Chefs Institute’ collaborated for an amazing cooking & baking workshop at 7chefs' professional kitchen from which 12 individuals with Down syndrome learnt culinary skills. All participants were provided with material and equipment. Professional chefs guided them step-by-step to make delicious food, and participation certificates were also given to all.
  • Handicrafts made by crafters with Down syndromewere displayed for sale at various events through which $38 were raised, and given back to the crafters with Down syndrome to instill a sense of financial independence.

 

 

Family Support:

  • Since August, 102 new families have been enrolled into KDSP’s Network via the Family First contact meetings.
  • KDSP has continued to offer monthly informational Family Support Group sessions to parents and caregivers of individuals with Down syndrome on diverse topics including Developmental Needs, Toilet Training, Self-care and Ophthalmological Care Needs.
  • In September 2021, KDSP launched ‘Yoga for Mothers’ which is a virtual weekly program that offers yoga sessions to mothers of individuals with Down syndrome.
  • 79 households have continued to be supported through monthly disbursement of grocery bags and 40 families have been supported through monthly digital transfers for financial support.

 

Some stories from the field:

Ahmed is a 3 year old child with Down syndrome at KDSP. During a speech therapy session, his therapist suspected he had trouble hearing and referred him for an audiology assessment. Ahmed was diagnosed with severe hearing loss of the middle ear. In August 2021, with your support, KDSP sponsored a pair of hearing aids so Ahmed could continue to avail his therapy sessions and achieve his developmental milestones. His therapists have since then reported an improvement in his progress.

Sabeeka’s mother expressed, “The KDSP Early Preschool is a “happy home” for my child. She is learning a lot here and her progress is exceptional. The attention and love she receives from her teachers and the staff are like no other. It is the best educational platform we could find, with fun learning activities. I am thankful with all my heart for all the love, care and focus given to my daughter. I thank the KDSP team for all their efforts.”

“Noticing some good changes after yoga; I feel more active, the pain and stiffness in my shoulders has decreased and I feel this freshness on my face. I am sure it will also help manage the stress us mothers face, as we continue to attend classes. I was aware of these benefits but did not realize them until after practical application. This is all thanks to KDSP and Dhanak, our instructor!” - Shabana, mother of Aijaz – participant of Yoga for Mothers

“Hadi was diagnosed with an unclosed hole in his heart, for which he underwent a successful surgery under the care of Dr. Babar at AKUH. Thanks to KDSP, Hadi is now living a healthy life and is able to energetically partake various activities” - shared mother of Hadi emotionally.

“Ayan loves attending Music and Movement and BollyX (Bollywood dance class) at KDSP. He enjoys it a lot and gets to do these activities with his sister, which has brought them closer together. KDSP has provided an excellent avenue for my son to do what he loves.” - expressed Maryam, mother of Ayan

A child enjoying "Yellow Day"
A child enjoying "Yellow Day"
Fun day at the cruise
Fun day at the cruise
Baking workshop
Baking workshop
Individuals with Down syndrome learning cricket
Individuals with Down syndrome learning cricket
Children enjoying the Virtual Tennis class
Children enjoying the Virtual Tennis class

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Child expressing happiness on a usual day at KDSP
Child expressing happiness on a usual day at KDSP

Dear Supporters,

While many of our services started physically in the last quarter, KDSP gradually resumed all of its services physically this quarter while ensuring the implementation of strict SOPs and keeping the health and safety of our wonderful stars at top priority. Below mentioned are some of the highlights from this quarter:

Early Childhood Intervention (physical, occupational & speech therapies)

  • In-person therapy clinics continued at 50% capacity with 290+ therapy sessions conducted weekly.
  • As part of KDSP’s partnership with the ‘Ziauddin College of Speech Language & Hearing Sciences (ZCSLHS)’, Audio-logical Assessments for Children with Down syndrome were introduced from April at subsidized rates to support and enhance the hearing capacity of children with Down syndrome.
  • 11 families benefitted from the free Occupational and Speech Therapy training for parents of individuals with Down syndrome conducted by Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH).

 

Healthcare

  • 11 families benefitted from the free Behavior Therapy training for parents of individuals with Down syndrome conducted by Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH).
  • KDSP partnered with an online medical store ‘Dawaai’ to offer benefits in terms of medicines, tests and consultation discounts to the families of children with Down syndrome registered in KDSP’s Family Network.
  • 15 individuals with Down syndrome benefitted from the Pediatric Cardiology Clinic hosted by KDSP in June.
  • 6 children benefitted from sponsored consultations at AKUH through the donations made to KDSP.
  • 12 individuals benefitted from surgeries and other life-saving medical procedures e.g. Cardiac Surgeries and Intestine Obstruction Surgeries at AKUH.

 

Skills Development

  • A variety of programs (Clay Art, Vegetable Planting, Weaving, and Teddy Tennis) resumed physically in June; 140+ children and adults benefitted.
  • Zumba classes were started for individuals with Down syndrome to improve fitness and muscle coordination; 8 individuals benefitted.
  • 811 handicrafts products were sold and the proceeds were handed over to our talented crafters with Down syndrome.
  • KDSP’s E-Commerce Shop featuring products hand-made by our very own crafters was launched on KDSP’s website.

 

Family Support

  • 155+ First Contact Meetings were scheduled with new families for enrollment at KDSP and more than 200 new families were enrolled reaching a total of 1200+ registered families.
  • Informational support: 4 Family Support Group sessions have been arranged on topics including Behavior Management, Skincare, Effective Communication Strategies and Parental Involvement benefitting 65+ parents and caregivers.
  • Emotional Support: The KDSP Parent-buddy program enabled 17 newly enrolled parents to find emotional strength and support through peer support pairing with experienced parents. An enclosed emotional support group session for parents and caregivers of adults with Down syndrome was also held under the mentorship of a Certified Humanistic Counsellor and Psychotherapist where participants had a discussion regarding their fears, challenges and joys of parenting an adult with Down syndrome.
  • Financial Support: 32 families were provided with monthly digital cash transfers, and 77 households were supported through monthly grocery bags.

 

Education

  • 90+ children benefitted from the early preschool, after-school and homeschooling programs. While the students who graduated from the early preschool program will be entering the next phase of mainstream schooling, the rest will continue to benefit from the after-school and homeschool programs that provide assistance for basic-level numeracy and literacy, consolidated with life orientation skills for self-sufficiency and independence.
  • 19 new teachers were trained for inclusive education
  • 14 students attended the Summer Camp that was conducted in the summer vacations for 4 weeks to help children with color recognition, social and emotional development, and teamwork attributes.

 

Awareness

  • Awareness sessions were conducted with 220+ individuals across different organizations and institutes to ensure the inclusion and acceptance of individuals with Down syndrome within all spheres of society.
  • Collaborations were formed with different organizations for disability inclusion by having children with Down syndrome featured in Television Commercials (TVCs) and Digital Video Commercials (DVCs). Short video documentaries were also made depicting the struggles and resilience of parents in overcoming the societal stigma and pressure associated with individuals with Down syndrome within the community.

 

Some stories from the field:

“The monthly grocery bags and cash transfers received through KDSP help us balance our expenses. We are grateful to God for making KDSP a channel to bridge the gaps in our day to day expenses. We are extremely satisfied with the service and are equally grateful to KDSP.” – shares Mother of Sami

 

 “I have followed KDSP’s awareness initiatives for up to three years now and never before have I seen an organization that is raising awareness to create a more inclusive society for individuals with Down syndrome. My family also became more understanding of the condition and the developmental interventions Essa would require after they saw some TV shows KDSP was a part of.  I, myself had the opportunity to attend an awareness session by KDSP which debunked a few myths surrounding Down syndrome I possessed.” – expresses Maryam, Mother of Essa

 

“The services that we received from AKUH were excellent. Dr. Salman and Dr. Babar were very understanding and listened to our concerns carefully. The staff at KDSP was extremely helpful in guiding us.”- shares Mother of Yourasha

 

“I have seen great improvement in Saeed - his walking and grip has improved a lot now that we are coming in physically for his physical therapy”- shares Mother of Saaed

 

“Through the carefully structured lesson plans and video tutorials, Kaneez learnt sign language and is now able to communicate her everyday needs to us, and even her feelings. The teachers invested their soul and heart into ensuring a safe, smooth and comfortable learning environment for all the children, even during COVID-19! The day she graduated from Early Preschool was a bittersweet moment for me as a parent; Kaneez is now ready to attend the mainstream school where she is enrolled, and will study alongside typically developing peers her age. I am confident that I will be able to provide a conducive learning environment to her growth in any school, through the information, tools and techniques KDSP empowered me with.” – expresses Ramooz, mother of Kaneez

 

“We enrolled Taha in multiple schools but none had the capacity to cater to him for long and teachers were unable to put in the effort. In his time at KDSP, he has been a part of many programs. The classes helped him increase his attention span as he is very focused on his tasks. Many of the products Taha has made in his classes have received much recognition via the KDSP Shop. The sales he makes via the shop contribute to his financial independence. Taha is also currently interning at an esteemed dental clinic in Karachi where his supervisors are most pleased with his hard work and determination. He is very excited about his work there and has great plans on how he will spend his stipend. KDSP has provided us with great support.” – expresses Hafsa, sister of Taha.

 

All of this has only been possible because of the constant support and love you have shown towards KDSP. With your continuous patronage, KDSP hopes to bring forward many more success stories and eventually a world where individuals with Down syndrome are accepted, included and celebrated!

Love,

Team KDSP

Children and adults enjoying Zumba class
Children and adults enjoying Zumba class
A student on the last day of Summer Camp
A student on the last day of Summer Camp
Graduation Ceremony of Early Preschool Program
Graduation Ceremony of Early Preschool Program
A child enjoying her Physical Therapy session
A child enjoying her Physical Therapy session
A child during Speech Therapy session
A child during Speech Therapy session

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Child during physical therapy session
Child during physical therapy session

Dear Supporters,

This quarter was a breath of fresh air for KDSP. Many of our services which had become virtual owing to COVID-19 since March 2020 were resumed physically and we welcomed our wonderful stars with Down syndrome at our office February onwards. Some of the major highlights included:

  • Early Childhood Intervention (physical, occupational, speech therapies):

o   In-person therapy clinics resumed at 50% capacity with 233+ therapy sessions conducted weekly

o   KDSP presented its paper ‘The Virtual Shift: Early Childhood Intervention Therapies for Pakistani Children with Down Syndrome During COVID-19’ in the 36th Annual Pacific Rim International Conference On Disability & Diversity – Virtual as well as Aga Khan University Hospital’s 23rd National Health Sciences Research Symposium

  • Education

o   New program was launched to train parents/caregivers for home-schooling their children

o   Our preschool and afterschool programs catering to 25+ students resumed in-person

o   Inclusion Facilitators were trained and placed in model partner schools in Karachi to facilitate the education of children with Down syndrome

  • Skills Development

o   100+ children and adults benefitted from a variety of programs - some of which are still running virtually while the rest resumed physically (Music and Movement, Paper Crafts, Block Printing to name a few)

o   New programs were launched including BollyX (Bollywood inspired dance fitness program) and Life skills (self-care, hygiene, communication skills, money and time management and basic digital literacy) for adults with Down syndrome

o   747 handicrafts products were sold and proceeds handed over to our talented crafters with Down syndrome; simultaneously new handicrafts are being developed for KDSP’s upcoming E-commerce Shop

  • Healthcare:

o   75 children benefited from referrals, consultations and live-saving procedures at the Down syndrome Clinic at Aga Khan University Hospital (AKUH)

o   15 children benefited from the Developmental Pediatrics Consulting Clinic at KDSP

  • Family Support

o   100 new families have been enrolled at KDSP, crossing the 1000 families milestone

o   Informational support: 7 Family Support Group sessions have been arranged on topics including puberty, oral health and importance of expressive art techniques benefitting 45+ parents and caregivers

o   Emotional support: The KDSP Parent-buddy program enabled 27 newly enrolled parents to find emotional strength and support through peer support pairing with experienced parents

o   Financial support: 40 families were supported with monthly cash transfers and grocery bags

  • Awareness

o   To celebrate World Down Syndrome Day on 21st March and keep the Annual KDSP Carnival’s spirit alive, we developed ‘Carnival in a Box,’ consisting of a themed box full of treats for over a 1000 families within our network.

o   KDSP launched an awareness video themed #ConnectWithDownSyndrome, to portray empathic, responsible and meaningful connections individuals with Down syndrome are capable of forming, once we learn to see through the lens of inclusion.

 o  The team made some media appearances to spread awareness about Down syndrome.

Some stories from the field

“I have seen greater improvements in Hassan as a result of the therapies and it is wonderful to connect with the therapists in-person. I feel safe coming to KDSP seeing the strict SOPs that are followed here and the excellent crowd control”, shared mother of Hassan

Mother of Arham (7 years old), shared: “The homeschooling program has not only benefitted my son, Arham, but my other (typical) children as well! I am learning how to teach all of my children now!”

Ibrahim is a 1.9 year old boy with Down syndrome with complexities in his heart - he was referred to cardiac specialists at AKUH (through KDSP) who eagerly took on his case and started his treatment. “Thank you KDSP for the endless support…we are very impressed with the overall experience at AKUH” says Ibrahim’s father.

“Ammar enthusiastically follows every instruction and displays great craftsmanship when it comes to drawing, painting and quilling. These skill building classes have been instrumental in improving his ability to concentrate. He also runs his own Instagram handle @extraon21 and YouTube channel called Explore with Ammar”, exclaims mother of 19 year-old Ammar

“Puberty sessions were a great learning experience, very enlightening and enriched with information. The sessions helped change my perspective and offered a refined lens to view things. I learnt about the importance of building an open and honest communication with my child, and how visual aids and social stories can help children learn and unlearn concepts. I even adopted visual learning strategies and have been successfully implementing them with my son”, says Mother of 14 year-old Abdullah.

“Emama just received her Carnival in a Box from KDSP and we are really grateful to KDSP for spreading smiles among the stars of our families and giving them a chance to have what they deserve”, shares Mother of Emama.

 

Thank you for all the generous support you have extended towards empowering individuals with Down syndrome. We look forward to your continuous support in our mutual mandate towards an inclusive society!

 

Love,

Team KDSP

Children in preschool class session
Children in preschool class session
Children & adults enjoying Music & Movement class
Children & adults enjoying Music & Movement class
Young lady enjoys goodies from Carnival in a Box
Young lady enjoys goodies from Carnival in a Box

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Organization Information

Karachi Down Syndrome Program

Location: Karachi - Pakistan
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @KhiDownSyndrome
Project Leader:
Zaynab Abedin Jawad
Karachi, Sindh Pakistan
$19,320 raised of $50,000 goal
 
261 donations
$30,680 to go
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