Friday 6 December, 2019

Four children receive cash grants from Down's Syndrome Foundation

The Jamaica Down's Syndrome Foundation has been doing its part for the past 12 years to make the lives of those living with Down syndrome, a little easier.

The Jamaica Down's Syndrome Foundation has been doing its part for the past 12 years to make the lives of those living with Down syndrome, a little easier.

Four children living with Down syndrome were the recent beneficiaries of grants totalling $200,000, courtesy of the Jamaica Down’s Syndrome Foundation.

This took place during the foundation’s fourth annual awards ceremony.

The foundation has been doing its part for the past 12 years to make the lives of those living with Down syndrome, a little easier.

With its aim being that children living with the condition be integrated into society, the foundation gathers sponsorship from various organisations to provide holistic full-service programmes for those affected.

“When choosing candidates, we look at participation, attendance, needs, active or intended involvement in activities that further candidate's overall development,” said Dr Charmaine Scott, Chairman and Founder of the Jamaica Down's Syndrome Foundation.

Since 2016, the foundation has selected and issued grants to 17 candidates totalling just over $700,000 which has been used for school fees, therapy sessions, music lessons, purchasing glasses and for surgical interventions. Each grant has been named in honour of persons who have selflessly impacted others while they were alive.

Scott disclosed that the foundation has taken on quite a few additional initiatives to improve the quality of life for both its membership living with Down syndrome and their families.

These initiatives include bimonthly parent group meetings that educate families on the medical, therapeutic and educational resources available, free eye and hearing screening, along with free pneumococcal vaccines for children with Down syndrome at Bustamante Hospital for Children and health centres across Jamaica.

Meanwhile, the foundation is appealing to the public for help in funding its activities for the upcoming year. 

Among other things, it needs nearly $500,000 to host an average of 50 parents along with their children.

During these meetings, attendees have immediate contact with medical, legal and special education professionals who provide much-needed information to parents and caregivers on how best to make use of local resources.

Emphasis is being placed on getting the following items: a screen which will be used to project slides during presentations, reprinting of publications and new parent packages, tablets with educational programmes for children with learning disabilities, physical space, equipment and furniture to establish a Down syndrome resource centre.

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