‘Striking’ a Blow to Down Syndrome
The Open Hearts Cup, a bowling competition, was set up to raise money for people with Down Syndrome
Natalia Hetmanova, 26, a young woman with Down Syndrome said that she was very happy to participate in the “Open Hearts Cup,” not just because her competitors were struggling to beat her, but also because she recently got a new job.
“I work at a cafe at the Chernihivska metro station. I like it. I am a goods packer,” Hetmanova said.
Organizers say its vital that people with Down Syndrome be able to lead an independent life, to boost their self-esteem and self-identity. To help them think, learn and reason, there is an idea to create a separate dorm at enterprises where people with Down Syndrome can work.
“A dormitory’s where they can live, of course, accompanied by social care workers. And there they may have employment in workshops, or production. Some kind of hand-made, or cultivation, agricultural,” Ivanna Vikhtynska, coordinator of the “Supported Employment” project at the “Down Syndrome” charity said.
The money raised at the competition will support children under 8-years-old with genetic anomalies.
“Starting from birth, the assistance of a physiotherapist and a kinesiotherapist is necessary. These children have particular physical development. Speech therapists, correctional teachers, psychologists, music therapists also work with the children,” “Down Sydrome” Charity President Olena Bolshanina said.
In the seven years since the tournament was founded, it has raised some $24,000.