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Down Plus Bucharest Association (Asociatia Down Plus Bucuresti) is a nongovernmental, non-profit association whose goal is to create conditions that are favourable to the inclusion of people with the Down syndrome in society and also to improve their lifestyle with activities that are as various as possible. The Down Plus Bucharest Association was established in April 2014 and now it has 36 registered members, of whom 32 have the Down Syndrome, and 4 have autism. The intention to carry out activities both for people with the Down Syndrome eand for people with autism was not present in the beginning, but on the way we considered that they can learn from each other (people with autism have become more loving and they express affection better, they are more calm and less anxious, and people with the Down Syndrome have developed manual work skills, attention for details).
Step by step we began to conduct activities almost every day of the week in order to offer a diverse programme to our beneficiaries so as to keep them busy and to prevent the two big predispositions: depression (most common for people with disabilities who completed their education) and obesity (which appears because of a lack physical exercise and sport). We have included in our programme activities like sports (gymnastics, dance, swimming, basketball, and football), occupational therapies (speech therapy, ergotherapy, play therapy, object making, object painting, modelling, decoration) and cultural activities (regular outgoings at the theatre, circus, and different shows).
Our beneficiaries’ frequent meetings tied up their relationships and created a family like atmosphere, filled with love and the desire to spend as much time together as possible. Longer trips (sport camps, mountain hiking, games on the beach and creative workshops) had a contribution to this outcome too.
This also explains the “Plus” in the name of our association. With dedication and permanent involvement, we offer a plus of love, friendship, kindness, in other words a small step towards a big world (the inclusion of people with disabilities in society).
What is Down Syndrome?
The Down syndrome is not a disease; it is a definitivegenetic change.“What happens when you come to a group of people with theDown syndrome? You are given a hug. This is their life, their food, their energy! These children need love and education. They laugh too. They cry too. They dream, they are joyful, they are sad, they read, write, play, and especially theyLOVE. They need shared love, like only they know how to offer it!”– GeorgetaBucur, President of the Down Plus Bucharest Association.
The Down syndrome is the consequence of a genetic change which occurs at the conception of the foetus. Due to themultiplication of an extra 21 chromosome, the foetus develops with 47 chromosomes instead of 46.
The degree of disability varies from one individual to another and it is difficult to estimate at the time of birth how this syndrome will manifest in the future. People with theDown syndromehave distinct characteristics and although the Down syndrome is permanent, the majority of those affected by it, with appropriate care, can live a normal and active life.
People with the Down syndrome have cognitive difficulties and movement difficulties and many other general health conditions.
MONDAY – artistic gymnastics
TUESDAY - football/basketball
WEDNESDAY - fitness
THURSDAY – dance with Andra Gogan
FRIDAY – art therapy
SATURDAY –folk dances at the Larisa and Marin Barbu Romanian Folk Dance School
Plans for the future
In the near future we want to move to the next step which is also our greatest desire. That is to establish a day centre where we can carry out all the activities included in our programme. At present, we are struggling to find a room/an area for each of our activities. All these involve going to different places, documents, waste of time and baggage to be carried to each place. But our dream is big and we know it will become true one day. We want a centre with rooms for our sport activities, rooms for the therapies we apply and a garden where we can practise our gardening skills. Of course, the garden may also be used as a relaxation area to spend time outside.
Considering the issue of single parent families, in the course of time, we want to develop that day centre, and to dedicate the last floor to bedrooms. There may be moments when our beneficiaries need a place to stay until their parents solve urgent matters. There may be situations when parents need to go to the hospital or to do other things and they need a safe place at those times, where their child is treated like in a family and where his/her desires and habits are known. Otherwise, some of the beneficiaries of our association are domiciled outside Bucharest and many times they have to come here for some treatments, medical analyses etc., and this way we couldoffer them accommodation. We are continuously trying to consider the association a family and we have outgoings where a single mother is taking care of several children in order to get used to emergency situations.
This centre could solve the problem of rooms for carrying out our activities, a place where children could stay overnight in the event of extreme situations, and also a place that can be considered a second home.
THE DOWN PLUS BUCHAREST ASSOCIATION
Address: Str. Oltina, nr. 3, bl. 28, sc. 1, et.1, ap. 4, Sector 5
FISCAL CODE: 33098429
BANK ACCOUNT: RO04RNCB0278141214580001
Facebook: Asociatia Down Plus Bucuresti
Accreditation Certificate series AF no. 002740