FOR far too long, people living with Down syndrome have been looked at as curses and cultural abomination.
For World Down Syndrome day that is commemorated in October, the Namibia Down Syndrome Association is planning fun-filled activities aimed at demystifying those cultural norms and to help children living with Down syndrome to live a healthy and comfortable life.
The Association’s Chairperson, Eline van der Linden, who is also a mother to a child living with Down Syndrome, said that Down syndrome should not be labelled as a medical condition.
She added that Namibians should do away with being uncomfortable around people living with Down syndrome.
“Namibians are not comfortable with a different ability and we are trying to change that scenario. With just a bit of love and care, we can try and get the best out of the children living with Down syndrome,” she said.
She also touched on challenges endured by children living with Down syndrome, such as the lack of enough schools or education facilities that can cater to their needs.
“There is much more that still needs to be done. Our children don’t come from another planet and if a teacher can be creative and integrate & include them in the school system, then it’s a step in the right direction,” she said.
Namibia will celebrate World Down Syndrome day on Saturday, 26 October, at St. George’s Diocesan School Sports Field, Windhoek.