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Downside Up

Downside Up

Downside Up's mission is to improve the quality of lives for Russian children with Down syndrome. Their long-range goals include prevention of social orphanhood, development of the state early intervention system and the social adaptation and integration of children with Down syndrome into Russian society. One of their specific aims is to establish Downside-Up as a centre of excellence that provides advanced experience and know-how, information, advice and training to a wide network of state and non-governmental organisations.

The Wessex Trust's latest grant to Downside Up will enable them to provide support and guidance to parents of children with Down syndrome to help them deal with their practical and emotional concerns. A special brochure will make parents aware of the services and support that Downside-Up can offer them, and psychological experts will be employed to help parents with their feelings and the decisions they make. The ultimate purpose of this support is to decrease the number of families abandoning their new-born children with Down syndrome (currently 85%) and to provide them with timely and effective psychological support.

Anna Portugalova, Director Downside Up described the potential impact of the Trust's grant:

"As a result of the Wessex Youth Trust support, more than 1,800 families with newborn Down syndrome children from all over Russia and post-Soviet countries will receive free psychological consultations. Also, 3,000 copies of the book answering major questions that parents of new born Down syndrome children face in Russia, will be distributed free of charge among such families and specialists. We believe that the partnership of the Wessex Youth Trust and Downside Up will be very fruitful and beneficial in improving the lives of Russian children with Down syndrome and their families."
Anna Portugalova, Director

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