New Aid in Bangladesh, New Organization in Namibia, New Attention in Turkey

Around the world, people with Down syndrome and advocates for them are starting to make inroads in places where there has been little previous attention on medical care and rights for people with Down syndrome.

In Bangladesh this week, the government is planning to fund a trust that would help people with autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome and other intellectual disabilities.

The law calls initiatives to ensure employment for the differently-abled and establish their right to inherit property. Every hospital would have a unit dedicated to the people who are targeted by the act.

The government would establish the trust with $12.5 million, with the idea that individual donations can also be made.

For more information on the Bangladesh proposal, click here.

In the African nation of Namibia, the Down Syndrome Association of Namibia was recently established to create an openness in society for people with Down syndrome.

The group estimates there may be only about 1,000 people with Down syndrome in the country, because 35 percent of children with Down syndrome will die before age 3. A lack of information, advocacy and medical care is to blame.

“Unfortunately society … sees the Down syndrome and not the person, although people with DS are people just like you and me,” says Eline van der Linden, a founding member of the association and mother of 5-year-old Namashiku, who has Down syndrome. She spoke to The Namibian.

The association plans to reach out to the government, private sector and the public to change perceptions about people with Down syndrome, facilitate self-advocacy by people with DS and organize activities for people with Down syndrome and their families.

For more information on the Down Syndrome Association of Namibia, click here.

In Turkey, more than 3,000 people joined in parades in Istanbul and Izmir to declare “We Are Here” and promote the inclusion of people with Down syndrome in society.

“I think one of the most important attainments of the works we have made so far is inclusion education and the right for free rehabilitation,” said Gün Bilgin, head of the Down Syndrome Association of Turkey, which organized the event, according to the Hurriyet Daily News.

“They converge on the places they belong; in their classes with teachers and friends. Our youth have started to integrate into society,” Bilgin said.

For more information on the Turkey parades, click here.

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