Many people with Down syndrome in Africa face low life expectancy, abuse, stigma, segregation and limited life opportunities, both as children and adults. Society's negative attitudes prevents them from reaching their potential, living valued lives and contributing to society. This project will provide capacity building training for small Down syndrome charities in Africa, putting them on a sound footing with tools to improve knowledge, attitudes and empower people with Down syndrome.
Down syndrome causes varying degrees of intellectual and physical disability and associated medical issues. So people with Down syndrome require support in some areas. Like everyone, they have the potential (and the right) to live valued lives and contribute to society. Negative attitudes to Down syndrome in African countries means they are not given the opportunity to do this, instead facing constant barriers. Our project will benefit these people via charities enabling them to break barriers.
We provide expert advice on capacity building Down syndrome charities, training on all issues affecting people with Down syndrome and advising how to mobilise and run a charity successfully. This project will put existing small charities on a strong footing, capable of sustaining themselves, with knowledge of accurate information and with staff and members (including of course people with Down syndrome) who can speak about the positive contribution people with Down syndrome can make.
It is the long-term positive impact of this project which we hope makes it stand out. The fundamental problem to be solved is the negative attitude of society towards people with Down syndrome, which adversely affects their lives. The only way to solve this is to start a grass roots movement, empowering people with Down syndrome and those who advocate for them to change attitudes. Strong, self-sustaining Down syndrome charities with knowledge and expertise can help them achieve this.