To raise awareness, the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines Inc. (DSAPI) in partnership with SM Cares, the corporate social responsibility arm of SM Supermalls, held Happy Walk at the SMX Convention Center last February 21, from 8 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The event titled “Happy Walk 2016 All for Down- A day with Family and Friends” showcased the unwavering support of a family with a member having Down syndrome. The event also highlighted the many talents and interests of people with Down syndrome followed by a walk around the SM MOA Grounds.
Happy Walk is one of the programs of SM Cares in recognition of the rights of persons with disabilities (PWDs). SM Supermalls have been cited as the most PWD-friendly mall in the country. One in every 800 babies born has Down syndrome, accounting for around 1,900 cases each year in the Philippines in a population of 1.5 million live births, according to DSAPI. More than 100,000 families in the country are living with a person with Down syndrome, the group also noted.
Down syndrome is a type of mental retardation caused by a process called nondisjunction in which genetic materials fail to separate during a crucial part of the formation, resulting in extra chromosomes called trisomy 21. The syndrome results in delays in a person’s development and other physical manifestations.
This year SM City San Pablo and Paaralang Pag ibig at Pag asa joined the Happy Walk. Ms Imee Marquez, SPED teacher said that the event was very wonderful that they would suggest to have this included in their calendar school of activities for next year. February has been designated Down syndrome consciousness month and events like this shows the world that people with Down Syndrome is as much able as those without it in the sense they can love as much as anyone else. (NWR)