Malam Minggu Pusat Belia (MMPB) yesterday paid tribute to members of the Down Syndrome Association, Ability to Learn through Learning and Experience (ABLE), through a public awareness project on the Day of Action (DOA) 2020, called the ‘Bright Up! For Down Syndrome’.
Minister of Culture, Youth and Sports Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan bin Pehin Orang Kaya Saiful MulokDato Seri Paduka Haji Abidin was the guest of honour.
The event began with the recitation of Surah Al-Fatihah by ABLE member Awangku Syukri bin Pengiran Haji Damit and a Doa Selamat by Qadrullah bin Haji Abdul Rahman.
This was followed by a speech from MMPB Vice President Aeta Naqiah Hariraya, who said, “It cannot be denied that a large part of the community has yet to have an understanding of people with Down Syndrome, as there is still a discriminatory nature against their limitations; a limited access to society that is still a challenge for these individuals.”
“During this opportunity, MMPB banded together as a reminder of the importance of loving and respecting the rights of people with Down Syndrome, as they are humans with emotions and ambitions, too.”
She described how MMPB carried out an awareness campaign on November 22 in the form of a video which went viral within and outside the Sultanate.
“On December 6, a number of individuals and parents from ABLE took part in the DOA 2020 launching ceremony at the Bali Pitstop Restaurant parking area in Tungku Link. From November 30 to December 19, renovations and upgrades to the ABLE Headquarters were made as an initiative from MMPB, in providing an exciting environment for its members,” she said.
“The renovation project involved some 30 students from Kolej International Graduate Studies (KIGS), who contributed their services in creating, painting and designing, while McDonald’s also took part in contributing a special room called the ‘Happy Meal Room’, along with Massutera Engineering Sdn Bhd, which contributed the new association banner and Pahayte Sdn Bhd, which contributed daily meals to the volunteers.”
ABLE President Tuming bin Haji Jais, meanwhile, explained that ABLE and MMPB began planning the programme on November 4, which was open for participation to 123 association members, while the number of individuals who registered for the programme totalled 53.
“The highlight of today’s ‘Bright Up! For Down Syndrome’ programme is a ‘day of celebration’,” he said, adding, “To MMPB and donors, we extend our appreciation and gratitude.”
Among the main highlights of the day was the launch of the ABLE Association Official Logo Painting Completion Ceremony by Major General (Rtd) Dato Paduka Seri Haji Aminuddin Ihsan.
This was followed by a presentation of souvenirs to the ABLE Association by MMPB and the opening of the ‘Happy Meal Room’.
The minister also toured the premises of the ABLE Association.
Meanwhile, various activities and games were organised by local entrepreneurs.
Among the objectives of Bright Up! For Down Syndrome programme were to increase the impact of public awareness and acceptance of people born with Down Syndrome and to boost the confidence of ABLE members.