Russian language site:  

Down Syndrome

You are here

Downside Up took part in the round table discussions on the occasion of world down syndrome day

Charitable Fund “Downside Up” took part in the special event dedicated to World Down Syndrome Day and organized by inclusive theater project “Interaction” in cooperation with New Space Theater of Nations.

Downside Up’s pupils participated in inclusive training for actors led by Boris Pavlovich, art director of socially educative department of Tovstonogov State Academic Bolshoi Drama Theater of Russia. A round table “Interaction Between a Painter and a Disabled Person” was held in the evening. Participants discussed the following questions: what do we mean by inclusion in the arts and how can it help our society to learn to recognize other people? Can this kind of special theater catch the interest of a viewer, not related to the “problem”? What can help this social project to become commercially viable, and special artists to get paid?

Nikolay Ilnitskiy, director at Downside Up’s Drama Studio was the speaker of this round table and shared how shadow play help children with Down syndrome to express their feelings, to increase their self-esteem and confidence and to socialize.

Downside Up turn 19!

We’ve spent the past 19 years with you – our friends, supporters, and families. We would like to extend our heartfelt congratulations and say thank you to you for being around and helping our little kids. A lot has changed and much has been achieved over the past years.

Early assistance programmes by Downside Up are being put in place and enhanced, helping every year to improve lives of thousands of children with Down syndrome and their families. Beginning this year (for the first time in the history of the Foundation), we are taking care of graduates as well. Children who were supported by our specialists in the early years, have come back to us as schoolchildren and teenagers. So we had to address new challenges – how to provide psychological assistance to children and their parents, open new self-fulfilment opportunities, and offer career guidance for boys and girls with Down syndrome.

Downside Up set up a drama group and organised a summer recreation programme. The Foundation supported the opening of sports clubs for people with Down syndrome all across Russia. The educational activities of Downside Up were officially licensed by the Moscow Education Department, so we can now share our experience more effectively.

Our education campaigns were especially impactful. They included, among many others, an exhibition in GUM (famous department store of Red Square), a high-profile campaign in the VKontakte social network aimed at calling Down syndrome by its right name, and a career guidance project for teenagers. The latter won a prize at the Cannes Lions International Advertising Festival.

We will continue developing in all those areas. Our efforts will demonstrate that opportunities of children with Down syndrome can be limitless.

Moscow hosts 21st charity bike fest

Moscow hosted a charity bike ride to support children with Down syndrome. The key objective of the event organised by the Downside Up Foundation is to draw attention to people with special needs and raise funds to finance career guidance programmes for teenagers with Down syndrome, as well as educational programmes developed by the Foundation. The amount of money raised totalled RUB 4,907,128.

The high point of the 21st bike ride “Sport Vo Blago” (“Charity Sports”), which started in the Kaluga Region, was the Bike Fest held in Moscow. Parents of children under the Foundation’s care and young people with Down syndrome hit the road along with other participants, including: Andrei Vostrikov, multiple all-round world gymnastics champion among people with special mental needs, winner of over 70 various medals; Stepan Bezrukov, winner of over 20 medals in swimming; and Gleb Diachenko, multiple winner and medalist at the Special Olympics. They set a good example, showing that we all have special needs, and people with limited abilities can exceed! Mikhail Mikhailov, the father of eight kids, also took part in the ride. His youngest daughter was born with Down syndrome. After that, Mikhail and his wife decided to adopt two girls with the same special needs. Now their three youngest daughters are under the care of the Downside Up Foundation.

The route of the Moscow Bike Fest ran from Luzhniki to VDNH. After 100 km, anyone could join the remaining 23-kilometer ride along the most beautiful Moscow streets and embankments, which were closed for the bike ride. As a result, over 550 cyclists gathered at the start line, including corporate teams and individuals. Some of them were wearing bright suits and rode bicycles of unusual design. Everyone will remember a cyclist dressed as Father Frost, riding a bicycle that was transformed into a three-horse team (“troika”) and a cart with a Christmas tree.

At the finish line, the participants were greeted by their loyal supporters – little kids under the care of the Downside Up Foundation. They welcomed the riders with a heart-stirring ride on kids bikes. The Bike Fest ended up with an award ceremony, gala concert and prize drawing in VDNH.

The first Downside Up Europe Teens Cup took place in Moscow

A unique charity project, that knitted teenagers from European countries took place in Moscow and in culture and education tourism centre “Ethnomir”. It was called Downside Up Europe Teens Cup and was held for the first time. The idea of the event came to the Downside Up founder Jeremy Barnes and his 15- year-old daughter who see their mission both in supporting children with Down syndrome in Russia and in involving the young generation into charity.

The participants of the project, 14-16- year-old teenagers, collected money by their own efforts for the DSU educational programmes before coming to Russia. When gathered in Moscow they studied our culture and traditions together with DSU leavers. The teenagers went to see “Ethnomir”, investigated the capital centre, visited Kremlin, came down to the Bunker-42 in Taganka, walked around VDNKh.

In the end of their trip they spent a volunteer day at DSU and helped to prepare the educational and game materials for the new academic year. In the evening the guests with DSU graduates and employees walked along the Moscow river on a tourist boat.

Downside Up Charity run: a sports gala to support children with Down syndrome

The 7th annual Charity run within the framework of “Charity sport” project to support children with Down syndrome took place in Moscow. About 1000 runners stood on starting line. The event raised 1535900 roubles. All money will go to the Speech development programme “We start speaking” for children with Down syndrome all around Russia.

Novelties of this year Run are: the 50 metres distance for the smallest participants and a half maraphon (21 km). Those who did not find the strength to take part in the Run itself, could compete in the Fun Run, where wearing a bright unusual costume was more important than running fast. Organizers also prepared a lot of capturing funny amusements. Among them were a family quest, a concert, games and creative workshops for adults and kids, yoga training from an internationally recognized yoga teacher and others.

Nobody lost in the Run as all the participants could overcome themselves, the distance, stereotypes and myths about Down syndrome. But we would like to mention Denis Bulgakov, 20-years-old Michael and little Vasya`s father. He ran 20 km with a heavy jogging stroller and Vasya, who is enrolled into Downside Up programmes, himself.

Anastasia Myskina, the first Russian female tennis player to win a Grand Slam singles title supported the event with her personal participation. The famous sportswoman held a special flash mob through social networking sites inviting everybody to train and run. The authors of the funniest pictures from trainings got prizes from her hands at the award ceremony. Kirov and Samara held their events on the same day as Moscow. Totally in May seven Russian cities took part in “Charity sport” Run including Volgograd, Ekaterinburg, Irkutsk and Omsk.

«Lukomorie», a Downside Up theatre workshop unique project

World Down Syndrome Day is celebrated for the 10th time this year and it is a good occasion to demonstrate the high creative potential which is hidden in people with 47 chromosomes. The festival which took place in the Central House of Actors in Moscow with the support of Downside Up was timed to coincide with this date.

The main idea of the event was focused on the opening night of the play “Lukomorie”, prepared by the “sunny” pupils of the theatre workshop which is located at Downside Up in cooperation with such brilliant masters of stage as Sergey Yurskiy who recited the text especially for the performance, George Avsharov and Sergey Fursov.

The theatre workshop which is attended by children with Down syndrome has just been working for several months. They were those who acted the major parts in the show performed as a shadow play. “We set great goals, with no allowance for Down syndrome, and we wanted to light the feeling of wonderful inspiration in the hearts of our spectators, not the sympathy.”- Nikolay Ilnitskiy, the play director wrote on his Facebook page on the eve of the opening night. He says, that the plastic performance aimed to demonstrate the children`s nature, as their plasticity is much richer than decorations.

One can tell about the success of the play from the spectators` feedback. It was more than just capturing to watch the show. It was inspiring and joyful in a special way, as it always happens when one watches a creative liberation of soul which is promoted by real art.

Olivia Wilde Plays a Girl With Down Syndrome

Actress Olivia Wilde appears in the latest moving film by Saatchi & Saatchi for CoorDown, Italy's national organization for people with Down Syndrome.

Previous efforts by Saatchi' s Milan office for the charity have won awards including 18 Cannes Lions, and this time the agency's New York office worked on the spot, which is narrated by a 19-year-old college student with Down Syndrome, Anna Rose Rubright. In this film, Wilde plays AnnaRose as she sees herself -- an ordinary girl, out with her family, laughing, crying, running and dancing. It's only at the end we see the real Anna Rose, and she asks "How do you see me?"

The spot, directed by Reed Morano at Pulse Films, highlights World Down Syndrome Day on March 21. It aims to start a conversation around how those living with Down Syndrome see themselves and how they can be disadvantaged when people pre-judge them based on their condition.

Children with Down syndrome met hundreds of new friends

Hundreds of people who are not indifferent to children with Down syndrome gathered on February 14 to take part in the charity ski race and prove once again that doing good is as generous as exciting and sporting. The 13th charity race to support children with Down syndrome broke the record for the number of participants. Despite bad weather 629 sportsmen stood on the starting line.

People came with their families, friends and colleagues. All that was done to encourage the participants of the race and help the little ones involved into Downside Up programmes to take their first step, say their first word, and go the kindergarten or to school. This year 1 595 795 rubles were collected on the early intervention programmes for “sunny” children. That`s a fantastic sum of money!

The race programme offered distances for everybody, from 500 m for the smallest children to more difficult 3, 5 and 10 km for adults. This year those who are most resilient could try a 15 km distance. The participants could take part in a relay race or joyful competitions without skis for corporate teams, and visit our famous open air kitchen, try hot tea and special “sport” mulled wine. Afterwards medals for all players and prizes for winners were prepared, as well as the entertainment programme and the draw where people could get valuable presents.

This year four-footed pets from a sled dog club traditionally took part in the race. Alaskan malamutes, so cute, who attracted attention of all little ones, took part in the exhibition dog sled ride. Certainly, all could pet them and take a picture.

The professional judging panel was represented by the head coach of the Russian national crossbow shooting team Svetlana Salnikova, the first Russian champion in the 24hours ski race and European champion in winter triathlon Natalia Sila-Novitskaya, and master of sports, the Russian champion and World and European Championships medalist Olga Klimova.

Annually ski race “Charity sport” is held in several Russian cities at the same time. This time Kirov started one day earlier and passed the torch to Moscow. Totally 11 cities from different Russian regions took part in Charity Sport ski race under the auspices of Downside Up.

A charity concert in support of Russian children with Down syndrome was held in New York

A charity concert was held at The Consulate General of the Russian Federation in New York on 27th March. A part of the money raised will go to Downside Up to support children with Down syndrome in Russia.

Musicians from different countries including Japan, Estonia, Ukraine, Georgia and the USA took part in the concert. The programme included Peter Tchaikovsky`s works who is regarded as one of the symbols of Russian culture. American celebrated Soprano Monique McDonald prepared the aria from “The Queen of Spades” for the concert in Russian language. “It was hard for me, she says, I interpreted every word and tried to pronounce them correctly. This language is the language of music that unites us and gives us the chance to help others”.

The winners of the first Charity Award, established by «Downside Up» were announced

The official ceremony of the first Charity Award in support of children with Down syndrome, established by «Downside Up», took place in Moscow. This Charity Award is given once in three years on the eve of the World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD), which is observed on March 21. The idea to establish this award arose out of the global desire to thank people enrolled in support of children with Down syndrome and also with a view to synergize the efforts in this regard.

The Gala Evening at Ritz-Carlton was led by the famous Russian showman Valdis Pelsh and Amariya Rye, successful writer and our longstanding friend. Jeremy Barnes, Downside Up’s trustee, opened the ceremony and welcomed all participants. He noted: «18 years ago when «Downside Up» was formed no one could even imagine that it will reach such heights. Of course it would be impossible without massive efforts by hundreds people and organisations. Today we gathered here to thank all of you for all that you are doing for families, having children with Down syndrome», – Jeremy Barns addressed the audience.

«Our first experience was very successful», Yulia Kolesnichenko, press office chief of Downside Up said. «Of course, it was not easy to organize such big event. Moreover, it was our first experience. However, the ceremony was a great success and at the same time it was very heart-stirring. The words of appreciation and gratitude made the audience laugh and cry. Winners and guests came to the ceremony from different cities and countries. Throughout this event we heard: «For me it was the best evening for the whole year», «I have visited many ceremonies but this one has a specific atmosphere», and even «Now I know that for the coming years my goal is to make everything possible to step up to this stage once again and accept the Downside Up’s prize».

The prize-winners were governmental institutions, non-commercial organisations, Russian and foreign companies, mass media and members of the public, who have made outstanding contributions to support children with Down syndrome in Russia. The prizes were awarded in 12 categories. Sergey Koloskov, president of the Down's Syndrome Association was awarded for his outstanding contribution to raising public awareness of Down syndrome. On receiving this award he noted: «Children with Down syndrome and their families continued to be deprived of necessary support. They remain deprived of inclusive education, they deprived of support, which they need to integrate into society. We shouldn’t forget to draw the authorities’ attention to the need to create an effective system to support families, having children with Down syndrome».

Ministry of Family Affairs, Demographic and Social Policy for the Kaluga region and Novosibirsk State Pedagogical University were awarded for their contribution to the development of state system of support for children with Down syndrome.

«Institute of Correctional Pedagogy of the Russian Academy of Sciences» was awarded for cooperation in the development of the scientific and methodological basis of early intervention programmes for children with Down syndrome.

Resource center of inclusive pre-school institution «Kindergarten for everybody» was awarded for contribution to the development of inclusive education for school-age children with Down syndrome. Channel One Russia and International News & Information Agency «Russia Today» with special project «Life without barriers», and publishing house «Arguments and Facts» were awarded for coverage of Down syndrome in mass media.

The prize-winners of the first Charity Award in support of children with Down syndrome are:

Sverdlovsk Regional Public Organization Supporting Children with Down Syndrome and Their Families «Sun children» for contribution to the development of regional support services for children with Down syndrome.

«Boeing Russiа», «PepsiCo», «ExonMobile Russia Inc», «Veles Capital Investment Company» for corporate contributions to support services for children with Down syndrome.

«Societe Generale International Financial Group» and corporate sport activities, «QIWI Group» and charity event «Pereverni mir», «Deloitte CIS» and adventure race «Extra Mile» for society involvement and corporate contribution to support services for children with Down syndrome.

Evelina Bledans for outstanding contribution to raising public awareness of Down syndrome.

Department of the State Automobile Inspectorate for Borovsky District of the Kaluga region for the provision of security services in Charity Bike Ride «Sport Vo Blago» for many years.

Alexander Derevshikov for his commitment to «Sport Vo Blago» project for children with Down syndrome.

«JamilCo Group of Companies», «Shell Russia», «HSBC Bank Russia» for support of Charity Bike Ride «Sport Vo Blago» for children with Down syndrome over the years.

Pages