A celebration of kids with Down syndrome in Dushanbe
Editor’s note: a story by Olga Zavyalova, journalist based in Tajikistan
A charity event devoted to International World Down Syndrome Day was held in Dushanbe on March 23. This Day is observed on March 21 since 2006. In Tajikistan an event was organized for the first time.
Photo exhibition, exhibition of handicraft made by children with limited possibilities, musical concert by famous singers and kids with Down syndrome took place during the event.
Public organization of parents of kids with Down syndrome “SiDa” with the support of charity organization “Alegria” announced on Facebook about conducting a photo session for kids with syndrome. Nine professional photographers responded on the announcement. Their best photos were exhibited.
Khusein Gulyamov, one of the photographers, says, “They gave me names of kid and his parents. I set up an appointment. The result – 3 hours on photo session, 5 wonderful photos exhibited, and the main thing – a friendship with the most inspirational and harmonious family”.
This is one of Khusein’s photos on the exhibition. Khusein writes about it, “Salmon and his Dad Kurbonali. They truly are the team in mutual understanding”.
Organizers of the event emphasize the necessity of it to inform people and raise their awareness about Down syndrome. In Tajikistan, the percent of kids with syndrome who are left by their parents in maternity hospitals and orphanages is very high – 85%. Majority of them die there before 1 year old.
“Families with kids with Down syndrome in Tajikistan do not get and social or pedagogical support. Overall, the only thing they face is negative attitude from society”, says Zarina from the public organization “SiDa”.
The concert was very cheerful and left a feeling of real celebration. Kids prepared and performed couple of dances themselves. They danced with to the songs of famous singers bravely and creatively.
No one was left indifferent. Viktor came to the exhibition with friend. He says, “It was hard to control emotions. I couldn’t stop smiling. It is great that this kind of events start to take place here in Dushanbe. These special kids should not be “overboard” in life”.
A kid with Down syndrome can be born in any family, regardless of genetic predisposition of parents, it is a naturally occurring chromosomal arrangement. Kids with Down syndrome are very friendly and open, many of them have talents In acting, music and arts.
Khusein Gulyamov tells, “Salmon has become a true friend of mine. He let me in his own world. He liked my camera a lot and he was very interested in how the photo session goes. He offered his own ideas and posed”.
A representative of charity organization “Alegria” Nasiba Karimova says that they plan to conduct other events for kids with Down syndrome.
Representatives of charity organization “Alegria”