October is National Down’s Syndrome Awareness Month

October marks Down’s Syndrome Awareness Month and it’s a time to celebrate people with Down’s syndrome and educate others about their abilities and achievements.

Down syndrome is one of the most common genetic diseases caused by an extra copy of chromosome 21, known as trisomy 21.

This extra chromosome alters the cause of development both physically and cognitively.

So it’s no surprise that every October we recognize Down Syndrome Awareness Month to raise awareness of the disease and advocate for acceptance and full inclusion in society.

This year, Down Syndrome South Africa (DSSA) and its associations are calling on South Africans to connect through kindness.

Isolation has become the new normal because of the pandemic.

DSSA believes that the random acts of kindness from Covid-19 may be just what you need to rebuild the spirits of your families, friends, and communities.

Through this year’s theme, we can see that no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted.

So in October embrace cuteness with concepts like empathy, gentleness, friendship, stewardship, love, and giving. Kindness can create a positive feedback loop during these difficult and trying times.

Former President Nelson Mandela declared October 20 National Down Syndrome Day in South Africa. In the spirit of celebrating the month, DSSA calls on individuals, businesses, organizations and other entities to give a little and help a lot.

Due to Covid-19, DSSA and its members across the country will be holding limited outreach activities to celebrate National Down Syndrome Day.

These awareness events play an important role in positive changes in attitudes towards people with Down’s Syndrome and other intellectual disabilities.

How to make a difference and support?

Donate your time for a good cause, offer a food basket to a family in need, sponsor a gift certificate, donate your unused clothes to a daycare center.

You can also wear your jeans and purchase a “Perfect Just Down Right Awareness Sticker” for R20 in recognition of this National Awareness Day.

All funds raised through this initiative will be used to support families in local support groups in disadvantaged areas.

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