Down Syndrome South Afica

National Down Syndrome Awareness Day 20th October

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The official National Down Syndrome Awareness Day is held on the 20th October each year with a specific theme. This day is celebrated around the country by our branches hosting functions in their area. Some of the various activities in the past have been "Buddy Walks" at the Johannesburg Zoo, Ladies teas, Picnics, Sports day, etc.

During this time (usually for a week around the 20th October) we give talks at schools and companies and also sell awareness materials like stickers and green ribbons. We encourage the public out there to participate and assist us in our constant strive to raise awareness around Down syndrome and dispel many myths and mistruths about the condition. Should you be interested in assisting us please contact the National office on 0861-DOWNSA (0861-369-672) or the closest branch to you.

20th OCTOBER - "ITS ALL IN THE GENES" Press release

The road to an inclusive tomorrow

Peace, love security and respect for human rights are the corner stones for human dignity and life, more so for persons with disabilities. National Down Syndrome Awareness Day is commemorated to create awareness about Down syndrome and falls on the 20th October each year.  Down Syndrome South Africa (DSSA) proudly announces our 6th “IT’S ALL IN THE “GENES” awareness campaign.  

Down syndrome is the most common and naturally occurring chromosomal genetic condition and is the largest single cause of intellectual disabilities. In South Africa, one in every 500 babies is born with Down syndrome each year.  It is therefore vital to raise awareness and dispel the myths that surround Down syndrome and to change societies pre-conceived ideas and prejudice that they might have.

21 years after the dawn of democracy South Africa still struggles to build a better society and improved quality of life for all who live in it. While we continue to make steady progress in honouring our constitutional and international obligations in terms of the National Development Plan and the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, persons with Down syndrome are still excluded from mainstream society and this adversely affects their rights and freedoms.

The finalisation of the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities and the launch of National Disability Awareness Month sends a beacon of hope and puts disability in the forefront but we all share a responsibility to work together to build tolerance of differences and wipe out ignorance by joining hands and supporting National Down Syndrome Day.

“We aim to create awareness around abilities rather than disabilities”.We will be celebrating “IT’S ALL IN THE “GENES”campaign via press releases, public speaking, television and radio interviews, community events, talks at schools and businesses as well as selling our stickers.

DOWN SYNDROME SOUTH AFRICA has regional branches/support groups across the country that will be hosting activities to celebrate National Down Syndrome Day. These awareness days play an important part in the positive shifts in attitudes towards people with Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities.  

How can you make a difference and show your support? - We ask that you please wear your ‘Jeans’ and purchase a “Genes Day Awareness Sticker” for R 10.00 in recognition of this National Awareness Day.

Who can participate? - Schools, government departments, companies and the general public within South Africa can support this day, Tuesday 20th October 2015, or any day in October that you may choose.

Please help us to achieve our goals. Funds raised from this initiative will go towards supporting members in the poverty stricken areas and providing support and services to those who need this most.

Contact Ancella Ramjas, National Director at Down Syndrome South Africa on or 0861 369 672.