We live in a world that is more accepting and forgiving, but it wasn’t like this before. People whose physical attributes were different weren’t accepted into society, and a big group of these special human beings have Down syndrome.
Down syndrome was discovered by Jérôme Lejeune in 1958, reporting that this is caused by having an extra 21st chromosome which was also referred to as trisomy 21. Down syndrome is easy to detect because of its physical appearance such as flattened face, almond-shaped eyes that slant up, smaller hands and feet, poor muscle tone or loose joints, shorter height, and more. There is also a possibility of mental development delays and disabilities.
It’s been 10 years since that fateful day when the United Nations announced that World Down Syndrome Day will fall on March 21 — the 21st day signifying the 21st chromosome. And because of this effort, everyone has learned to respect and support each other in their own journeys.
A non-profit organization, Best Buddies, was put up to create a wonderful environment for people with down syndrome to thrive. This includes one-to-one friendships, integrated employment and leadership development for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD). In 2014, Best Buddies Philippines was established to make sure that these efforts are implemented and executed here in our country.
The ongoing pandemic didn’t stop Best Buddies Philippines from celebrating World Down Syndrome Day this year. Together with SM Cares, Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, Down syndrome Internationa, and A Child’s D.R.E.A.M., they have successfully pulled off an ongoing virtual exhibit.
Photographed by Sara Black, “A Collab in Chrome” is a virtual exhibit through Kunstmatrix 3D virtual gallery with the theme “Connect.” In spite the many challenges we are facing, we are not going to let this hinder us from establishing connections amid quarantine rules.
*The virtual gallery will run until April 21.