DSSCF meeting the needs of persons and families touched by Down Syndrome

DSSCF meeting the needs of persons and families touched by Down Syndrome

By Foresee Foundation

Down Syndrome St. Maarten and Caribbean Foundation (DSSCF) was officially established in 2014 by two parents of children with Down Syndrome (DS), along with two other members, to foster the overall development of persons with DS. As caretakers of persons with DS, they saw not only the benefits of being able to talk about their struggles with others facing the same concerns, but were also able to share solutions while encouraging and supporting each other on the journey. They also noted that there were very few resources available at a community- or government-level to support parents of persons with DS, and thus the non-profit organization was founded.

The vision of DSSCF is for individuals with DS to achieve their full potential, gain relative independence, become active members in their communities, and positively contribute to society. The organization focuses on four key areas: Peer support, Awareness and advocacy, Healthy living, and Social inclusion for all individuals with DS in St. Maarten.

DSSCF is committed to providing a supportive community for families and individuals with DS in St. Maarten, and aims to raise awareness and advocate for their rights. The organization also promotes healthy living and social inclusion, ensuring that individuals with DS have the opportunity to thrive in their communities.

What can people/the community do to help the foundation?

1) Acceptance: Don’t underestimate persons with DS. See potential, don’t limit their possibilities.

2) Think together with us. Create safe learning-, work- and training-possibilities for persons with DS.

3) Support our “Thrive Center” financially by adopting a program or a member to ensure that all members can have access to all services offered and to ensure sustainability of the program.

4) Share your ideas and opportunities for our foundation and members.

5) Assist with creating small business opportunities for our members to sustain themselves.

6) Resource support: Dietician specialized for persons with DS.

7) Assist the foundation to attend conferences both regionally and internationally in order to build and strengthen our services by networking with other DS organizations and the international Down Syndrome Association.

What are some of the needs of Down Syndrome St. Maarten Caribbean Foundation to become more effective?

For the past eight years, we have been having board meetings, support group meetings and activities on porches, in garages, in classrooms, at the library, or sitting in cars, as we do not have a place to call our own. Foremost, we need financial support in obtaining/renting a building to start our “Thrive Center” where all members will have the opportunity to benefit from skills and techniques needed for a balanced overall development. Reach out and see where and how to support this organization.

Do you need volunteers and, if so, how can someone sign up to volunteer?

Yes, we are very much in need of caring, dedicated volunteers with respect for our members – volunteers who think outside the box and are willing to go above and beyond to help our members reach their full potential. We will have volunteer opportunities in the near future.

Persons, who would like to volunteer with DSSCF, may reach out to us via or Facebook page Down Syndrome Sxm and Caribbean Foundation or phone/WhatsApp +1 721 522-9171 or +1 721 580-1944.

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