Ministry of Social Development Joins DSFN in Observance of UN World Down Syndrome Day 2017
March 22, 2017:
“The Ministry of Social Development and Family Services is pleased to work with the Down Syndrome Family Network as we continue our efforts to break barriers and encourage persons with Down Syndrome in Trinidad and Tobago, to speak out in order to create the change that is needed for our society. Ladies and gentlemen, the time has come for us to dispel stereotypes and truly accept that we are all purpose-driven regardless of ability.” These were some of the sentiments expressed by the Honourable Cherrie Ann Crichlow-Cockburn, Minister of Social Development and Family Services as she addressed the audience at the World Down Syndrome Day Conference which was hosted by the Down Syndrome Family Network at the Hyatt Regency, Port of Spain on Wednesday March 21, 2017 under the theme: My Voice, My Community. The Minister also expressed appreciation to the DSFN for the opportunity to be a part of the Conference each year.
The Conference, now in its 6th year featured world renowned musician, Olympian and advocate, Sajeet Desai of the USA, who was diagnosed with Down Syndrome, but beat the odds to achieve greatness including the ability to play seven (7) different musical instruments. He also holds a second-degree black belt in Tae Kwon Do and enjoys skiing and swimming. During his feature address Desai attributed discipline, support from loved ones and a general love for community and people towards his success over the years.
- Also in attendance were: His Excellency, Anthony Aquinas Carmona, President of the Republic of Trinidad and Tobago and Her Excellency Reema Carmona;
- The Honourable Ayana Webster-Roy, Minister of Gender and Child Affairs, Office of the Prime Minister;
- Her Excellency Carla Hogan Refelds, High Commissioner of Canada to Trinidad and Tobago;
- Deputy Mayor of Port of Spain, Alderman Hillian Morean;
- Permanent Secretary at the Ministry, Jacinta Bailey -Sobers
- Glen Niles, Chairman of the Down Syndrome Family Network;
- Vice President of the Down Syndrome Congress USA, Ms Carol Guess;
The Ministry of Social Development also hosted an information booth for guests and conference participants which included parents, students and well-wishers, where information on the services available to persons with disabilities, NGOs and families were showcased.
Photo Caption: (L-R): Glen Niles, President and Founder of the DSFN, Sujeet Desai and the Honourable Cherrie Ann Crichlow-Cockburn, Minister of Social Development and Family Services.
Photo Caption: The Honourable Cherrie Ann Crichlow-Cockburn, Minister of Social Development and Family Services shares a light moment with local Down Syndrome self advocate Tyrese Niles. (Photos Courtesy: Ministry of Social Development and Family Services)
For further information, please contact:
Ministry of Social Development and Family Services
Tel: (868) 623-2608 ext. 5405/5432