Rowan’s Down Syndrome Awareness Centre is an initiative that was started by Mildred Katusabe, a Munyoro from Hoima. In 2018, Mildred gave birth to Rowan, and found out that he had Down syndrome some weeks later. As Mildred and her husband, Christopher Cripps, encountered the challenges of learning about, and providing, the special care which was needed for Rowan (as well as traumatic open heart surgery in India), Mildred became inspired to share this more widely within her community.
Rowan’s Down Syndrome Awareness Center was Incorporated in 2019 (Registration Number: 80020002241956) and in 2020, Permitted to operate as an Organisation (Permit Number: FORP0004164NB) under the Non-Governmental Organisations Act.
CURRENT PROGRAMME PRIORITIES
- To make contact with PWDS, and support them and their caretakers and families to form a membership organization and local self-help groups which will identify the challenges and come up with ways to address them
- To create awareness about and seek funding for support for PWDs
- To carry out research in order to find out more about the needs of PWDs in Hoima, Bunyoro and Uganda at large
- To develop services and partner with schools, Health centers and communities to create a more inclusive environment and develop services for PWDS which will:
- Utilise a “PlayScheme” approach to identifying and fulfilling needs
- Provide occupational and speech therapies, assessment, rehabilitation specifically
- Support access to education in government schools
- Support access to required medical services
- Provide training, and other support for PWDS to become independent
- To support PWDs, their families and caretakers with relevant information regarding health, nutrition, access to education and employment that will empower them to handle the challenges which come with Down Syndrome
- To lobby and advocate for recognition and support from government, NGOs and other relevant bodies for favorable policies that will support PWDS to live fulfilling lives.