‘Fun Walk’ for a good cause
BANDAR SERI BEGAWAN
THE Deputy Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports yesterday called for equal opportunity for individuals with Down Syndrome for them to be integrated into the society.
Datin Paduka Hjh Adina Othman said the Sultanate wants every citizen in the country, including people with special needs , to enjoy the benefits of socio-economic growth.
“In the context of individuals with special needs, we are working towards the elimination of obstacles or the removal of barriers to create a community that is inclusive and accessible for all,” she said.
The deputy minister gave a speech during the Down Syndrome Association’s (ABLE) first Fun Walk event.
She added that the government has recognised people with special needs as an important sector which will contribute to the country’s development.
“Individuals with special needs also have the right to take part in an inclusive community, and it is the role and responsibility of every related agency, including the community to prepare a suitable environment for their growth,” said Datin Paduka Hjh Adina.
The deputy minister went on to say that her ministry’s Special Committee for Senior Citizens and Special Needs Individuals has created an action plan highlighting 10 measures to create an inclusive community.
“There are 10 main topics that have been identified for actions to be taken: advocacy, shelter, health, education, employment, financial security, participation, volunteering, accessible infrastructure and transport,” she said.
ABLE’s first Fun Walk, themed “Guide us Towards Excellency”, was aimed to raise public awareness about Down Syndrome while raising funds for the association.
President of ABLE Siti Zaliha Abu Salim said , “different from other organisations or associations that have jogathons or walkathons, the Down Syndrome Association chose to hold a Fun Walk to accommodate individuals with Down Syndrome and other related health problems.”
She added that individuals with down syndrome have different capabilities, as some are able to run to the point that they can represent the country in the Special Olympics, while some are also not allowed to run due to their heart condition. The Fun Walk was kicked off by an aerobics session before walkers headed off to Jalan Menteri Besar Recreational Park.
The Brunei Times