Address of the President Atifete Jahjaga at the Down syndrome Kosova charity evening

Honourable participants,
This special evening could not have started any better than with the emotional performance of these children, who with their talent and their musician hearts conveyed to us the strongest message of this evening, one stating that their dreams know no limitations.

I congratulate you on your performance and let me tell you, from today onwards I am your number one fan!

I have the honour to join this noble initiative, which aims to protect and promote the values of equal citizens of our country, citizens touched by Down syndrome. Initiative which, through the erection of the community centre aims to guarantee them a brighter future, full of opportunities, commencing from their very first steps.

Individuals affected by Down syndrome have their particularities, we do all. We are all unique. Our differences are the values which we bring into the society. Hence, a healthy society is that all inclusive society which recognizes protects and promotes the values of its citizens, regardless.

I am convinced that together, as we are tonight, expressing the dedication and civic and institutional obligation, we shall manage to undertake all required measures, foreseen as well by the laws and the Constitution of the country, in order to respond to the needs of the people affected by Down syndrome, thus guaranteeing their necessary care requirements.

Few days ago I saw a beautiful sensibilisation measure, in focus of which was the letter of a pregnant mother, whose new coming baby was affected by Down syndrome.

Her fear, articulated through the question on what kind of a life would her baby have, was ameliorated by a response from children, also affected by Down syndrome, from all over the world, who told this mother that her child would be able to do many things, the child could hug her, could go to school just like all other children, could run, work, earn his salary, and live life on its own. They also told this mother that at times, things might be difficult, almost impossible, but they told her that that’s how it for all mothers. They also told her that her child will be happy, and so will she.

In Kosovo, 18 to 35 children affected by Down syndrome are born each year. We hold their happiness in our hands. Let us not impose limitations and restrictions upon them. Their lives are determined by our expectations; let us keep an open mind and let us not make compromises for their future.

Individuals affected by Down syndrome can contribute to the society, just like anyone else, and it is our obligation to offer them this opportunity.

I highly praise the unwavering trust and the untiring work which the Down Syndrome Kosova has undertaken for the last eight years in offering the individuals affected by Down syndrome and their families the necessary support.

I also praise the contributions of the business community, which jointly with us are making the dreams of these individuals and their family members reality, but there is still a lot left to do in order to get the individuals affected by Down syndrome to their deserved place in society and to offer them oportunities which guarantee a dignified life.

Therefore, while we mark the World Down Syndrome Day, join the initiative of the Down Syndrome Kosova for the erection of the centre which will offer services to the individuals affected by Down syndrome, and offer your contribution towards this.

Integration of the individuals affected by Down syndrome in society is the only way, the only alternative, for the future we are dedicated to build. Let us make this reality together!