The Director, United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, Mr Ronald Kayanja has urged everyone to support persons with Down syndrome condition by giving them freedom to make choices, as part of broader efforts to usher in a life of dignity for all.
He made this call while presenting the UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s message on the 2016 World Down Syndrome Day observed on Monday, 21 March 2016, by the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos, in partnership with the Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria (DSFN), held at the Library Auditorium of UNIC Lagos.
According to him, ‘Persons with disabilities, including those with Down syndrome, are more than persons in need of assistance; they are agents of change who can drive progress across society – and their voices must be heard as we strive to reach the Sustainable Development Goals.’
Mr Kayanja added that others in the society should similarly appreciate the potential and power of the members of our human family with Down Syndrome.
Speaking, the Hon. Commissioner for Information and Strategy, Lagos, Mr. Steve Ayorinde, represented by the Director, (Women Editor) Ministry of Information and Strategy, Ms. Olugbemi Ozojiofor, commended the effort of the United Nations Information Centre (UNIC) Lagos and the Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria in promoting the rights and acceptance of persons with Down Syndrome conditions.
He urged every member of the society to see persons with Down Syndrome disability as valuable and equal members of the Society.
In her closing remarks, the National President of Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria (DSFN), Mrs Rose Mordi, called on parents not to lock up their children with Down Syndrome conditions as this would affect their social and economic development. Persons with Down Syndrome should be integrated into the society as they also have value to add to the development of the nation.
The event, attended by 180 people including representatives of eleven media organisations, featured an exhibition of creative Artworks and Dance performances by persons with Down Syndrome disability as well as a video documentary on Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria.