Mar 21, 2024

Under the theme “End the Stereotypes,” Al Wafa School for Capacity Development, which is an affiliate of Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services (SCHS), celebrated World Down Syndrome Day, corresponding to March 21 of each year. The celebration aimed at raising community awareness about Down Syndrome and its causes, the role of people with Down Syndrome in societies, and encouraging people with Down Syndrome to study and work.

Al-Wafa School for Capacity Development Director Dr. Samia Mohamed Saleh has affirmed that the school is eager to give individuals with Down syndrome the chance to explore their options and form and grow partnerships in line with best practices with regional, Arab, and global institutions and organizations to realize the equal rights principle protected by laws and regulations.

She said that the number of people with Down Syndrome to whom SCHS provided its services during the academic year 2023-2024 has reached (239) male and female students. SCHS attaches great importance to the rights owed to people with Down Syndrome, confirming the leadership of the Foundation since its establishment in demanding the rights of people with disabilities in general, including people with Down Syndrome. The most important of these rights is the right to full inclusion in all aspects of life, whether in the labor market or in service, entertainment and educational institutions, and all available facilities, and to ensure that they obtain their social and human rights and the right to entertainment.

She added, “The theme for this year is for an end to stereotypes. SCHS makes every attempt to offer new features that will enhance the lives of those who have disabilities. It reaches out to all institutions and collaborates with academic and practical knowledge at the local, regional, and global levels. Additionally, SCHS constantly takes the initiative to create and expand the services that are offered to those with disabilities. Additionally, it seeks to employ disabled individuals and provide them with economic empowerment so they can advance both socially and personally”.

As part of its celebration of World Down Syndrome Day, Al Wafa School organized a group of activities and events, the most notable of which was a football match hosted by Khalid Bin Mohammed Stadium between the Al Bataeh Football Club Company team and the Down Syndrome student team in SCHS. The match witnessed an atmosphere full of enthusiasm and encouragement and achieved its ultimate goal through community and sports integration. It organized a talent program (Your Hand is With Us), which included a group of diverse workshops to highlight the capabilities of students at the Sharjah Aquarium.

The school also organized a “Carnival of Loyalty,” an activity that included a group of entertainment activities with a “clown,” a zoo, and games for students with Down Syndrome to entertain themselves. For self-advocates, a Ramadan iftar party was organized by Zulekha Hospital to honor the true heroes at the Ajman Saray Hotel. Expo Dubai witnessed a lecture entitled (How can we be more inclusive, ethical and interactive with people with Down Syndrome?) presented by Sheikha Sheikha Al Qasimi, Coordinator of the Self-Advocacy Unit at Sharjah City for Humanitarian Services. Expo Dubai employees (education team) benefited from it.

To mark the World Down Syndrome Day, SCHS Branch in Al Dhaid organized a bowling competition in the Yalla Bowling Hall in City Center Al Zahia, in which the students of the branch with Down Syndrome participated with their colleagues. As for SCHS Branch in Khorfakkan, it celebrated World Down Syndrome Day by organizing a Ramadan night for the Mothers’ Council entitled (Our feast is a whiff of hope and our gatherings is a symbol of giving) at the Oceanic Hotel.

In Sharq Market, the Khorfakkan branch also arranged an awareness discussion session titled "With Awareness, We Can." It was a general invitation. The branch also arranged a sports day at Sharq Stadium with the theme "With Down Syndrome Champions" and an exhibition with the theme "Together we change the picture" in the same market.

For its part, the Down syndrome students of the SCHS Branch in Kallba planned a leisure excursion to Al-Hafiyah, also known as the Hanging Gardens. The branch also planned a lecture titled "How to Deal with People with Intellectual Disabilities," aimed at parents of students with Down syndrome, and a series of workshops for the center's students, including a motor activity, an artistic workshop, and a music therapy workshop.