My Heart’s Appeal Incorporated (MHA) has provided assistance to over 50 volunteers and 49 children who are suffering from Down syndrome and intellectual disabilities from around Monrovia.
Down syndrome is a genetic condition in which a person has 47 chromosomes instead of the usual 46. It is one of the most common causes of human birth defects.
The initiative is part of MHA’s regular activities of providing support, care and training opportunities for persons with Down syndrome and intellectual disabilities in the country.
“We are here today through our CEO, Lovetie Major, to give you a 25Kg bag of rice, anti-Ebola buckets and special cartons comprising various items to all our clients and volunteers. This was planned for December during Christmas but due to the late arrival of the ship in Liberia we had to postpone it to now.”
Making the disclosure and official presentation of the items on behalf of MHA, Madam Sue B. Telewoda, said the organization was committed to supporting their clients, children with Down syndrome or intellectual disabilities.
According to Madam Telewoda, who manages the Bigma’s Care Place Respite Care of MHA, the items provided were donated by the CEO and friends in the USA.
“Mrs. Lovetie Major and all board members were grateful to all the parents for the level of care they continue to provide.”
“The Bigma’s Care Place Respite Care is one of the programs of MHA that bring our clients and volunteers together every last Saturday in the month for six hours of one–to-one care and attention. They have indoor and outdoor games, general meeting for story time and music with care from volunteers who are selected, screened and equipped for the work.”
She reminded all their clients, parents and volunteers to continue to observe the Ebola prevention measures prescribed by the Ministry of Health and partners in order to remain safe from the epidemic.
Also speaking was Titema Telewoda, Sue Telewoda’s sister.
Titema expressed gratitude to her parents, sisters, brothers and friends of the MHA for their support.
“My sister Lovetie and other people have been working hard to make us happy and we are happy today to get all these things. We want them to continue to help support us with training and education for some of us who want to go to school and training for some of my friends who want to be trained.”
She continued, “When we are together, we can be happy to play, dance and move around also.”
Cynthia Fahn, a caregiver, explained that taking care of children with Down syndrome and intellectual disabilities is a serious challenge, as many people in the community would show discrimination against such persons.
She expressed thanks and appreciation to MHA for the level of support provided.
Also speaking, Emeka Obiamiwe, a friend of Titema Telewoda and owner of Nubian FM, pledged that his media institution will work with MHA to ensure that Down syndrome children are educated and become productive.
“It is our responsibility to look out in society for people that need assistance, to make them productive and educated also. We sometimes build our high fences in the community and don’t look beyond the fence to reach out to people that need us because we don’t think it is necessary.”
He said it was unfortunate for many people in our society to show discrimination to children who are suffering from something they have no idea about.
It has not been established how many persons suffer from Down syndrome in Liberia. However, one caregiver said the number could run into the “hundreds.”