Breaking the barriers for people with Down syndrome in South Africa

The Break the Barrier – Strengthening the Townships Project is the project led by Down Syndrome South Africa (DSSA) which aims to reduce stigmatization and isolation of people with intellectual disabilities and their families living in townships by mobilising the parents and strengthening their ability to improve their general living conditions in the townships in South Africa.

Breaking the barriers for people with Down syndrome in South Africa
etrDown syndrome is an intellectual disability.

People with Down syndrome often
find it hard to take part in society.

There is an organisation which wants to help
people with Down Syndrome in South Africa.

The organisation is called
‘Down Syndrome South Africa’.

For example, they work with parents of children with Down syndrome.

They show them how families of children with Down syndrome can:

•    Help each other

•    Ask their government to make the life of people with Down syndrome better.

The Break the Barrier – Strengthening the Townships Project is the project led by Down Syndrome South Africa (DSSA) which aims to reduce stigmatization and isolation of people with intellectual disabilities and their families living in townships by mobilising the parents and strengthening their ability to improve their general living conditions in the townships in South Africa.

To achieve this objective, DSSA empowered families by establishing and capacitating parent support groups. This means that parents can strengthen their capacity to lobby for their children rights, being provided with adequate knowledge on tools and processes that they can use, such as advocacy tools which included international and national legislation, instrument and policies.

The project is run in two years frame, offering numerous activities to DSSA members and outreach groups. New Parent Support and Basic Counselling Skills Training and Self Advocacy Training furnished participants with the background on counselling skills. Inclusive Education Training introduced the specific learning styles which require children with Down syndrome and provided the guidelines and effective strategies for inclusive education in schools. Moreover, the workshops for Self Help group and parents were organised to develop the capacity of parents and delegates to advocate and support the rights of people with Down syndrome.

One of the most important outcomes of the project is the Baseline and Desk Study of the South African legislation and policies. The study conducted in selected townships resulted in the policies and strategies which are more focused on people with intellectual disabilities living in townships benefitting.

You can find out more about the project here.

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