Children with and without Down’s syndrome participated in a fashion show to raise funds for what will become the first specialized Rehabilitation and Development Center. The event was organized by the Chisinau Children’s Rights Directorate, in partnership with the advocacy NGO Sunshine and Inga Ojog’s Studio.
“We thought that the kids deserve to have a center of their own, and the fashion show helped us raise money to start building this Center,” said Lucia Caciuc, the Directorate’s acting head. According to her, many people responded to the call to participate in the event, including embassies. The exact amount needed for the Center has not yet been determined. “These children deserve a protective environment, an environment where they can feel at home,” said Caciuc.
Ala Burlaca, president of the NGO Sunshine and a mother of a beautiful daughter with Down’s syndrome, said the team is working so that the future Center can provide a host of much needed services, like kinetotherapy, speech-language therapy, defectology or sensory integration therapy.
Valentina Calistratovna, the great-grandmother of a four-year-old boy, was very happy to see her great-grandson on the catwalk. “These are children who need a lot of love and affection and who give much more back”, says the woman.
Tatiana Guzgan, mother of another beneficiary of the future Center, says that a lot more people still need to be made aware of what Down syndrome is, for example, that it’s not a contagious disease, or that such kids, while having special educational needs, can and should be educated like everybody else. “We’ve been judged and discriminated often. We just want to be accepted within society”.
There are 120 children with Down’s syndrome in Chisinau.
Down’s syndrome is not a disease or illness, but a condition caused by one extra chromosome in the human genome. It is typically associated with mild to moderate intellectual disability. Some children with Down syndrome are able to graduate from high school and get a job.