2013-05-09 19:08:34

Marking Europe Day on Thursday

Vatican City, 09 May 2013: Vatican Radio hosted a conference this week associated with the Europe for Citizenship program for the EU. Entitled “Think Different, Think Europe”, the project brought together young citizens from different EU countries who have Down Syndrome. The conference concluded on Thursday, 9th May, the day designated to celebrate the European Union.

Together, through the help of interpreters, they discussed the challenges that face people with Down Syndrome in their home nations but also on a wider EU level. What emerged from the debate was the sense that greater awareness needs to be raised among society at large about Down Syndrome, and what people affected by it – to varying degrees – can do.

One issue of particular importance to these young people, from 19 to 26 years of age, was their right to active participation in the social and political life and future of their countries. On the back of the first project “My Opinion My Vote”, many young men and women with Down Syndrome have taken concrete steps to raise awareness and get action on accessibility to the vote for people with Down Syndrome in their home countries. Steps that included lobbying government and civil society representatives.

In short, the project is about making sure that their voices are heard, understood and respected. It’s about building bridges between people with Down Syndrome across the EU and with wider society.
Source: VR Eng

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