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Children with Down Syndrome demand their right to participation in Ukraine

KHARKIV, Ukraine, 21 March 2017 – According to the Ministry of Health, every year 420 children with Down Syndrome are born in Ukraine. On World Down Syndrome Day 2017, we take a look at the lives of Vika and Tymofiy, two Ukrainian children with Down Syndrome who recently participated in a video workshop organized by UNICEF Ukraine.

Together with 18 other children, Vika (17) and Tymofiy (12) participated in The One Minutes Jr. workshop in Kharkiv in January where they developed and filmed their very first short movies.

21 March is World Down Syndrome Day

Vika currently attends a special boarding school for children with speech impairments. She goes to the 9th grade there and also takes music classes where she learns how to play the flute.

The 17-year-old girl is very talented in many different fields. “I like to draw, take photos and make videos. I also dance and take part in model shows organized by my school. The One Minutes Jr. workshop was great. The trainers were very friendly and helpful. I also thought that the other children were warm and friendly towards me.”

Tymofiy (12), the youngest workshop participant, also agrees with Vika that “the contact with the other children at the seminar was very interesting, especially because we spent five full days together and got to know each other really well”. Logically, Tymofiy’s movie produced during the workshop also speaks about friendship.

Tymofiy is a very active boy who likes sports and drawing and who is also interested in informatics at his school. In the future he wants to work in the field of construction, but his mother Iryna says: “Inclusive education for children with Down Syndrome is still not very advanced in Ukraine and this will also affect Tymofiy’s chances to find a job later in his life. And I really want him to be able to lead his life as independently as possible, hopefully even start his own family.”

Vika also has very ambitious plans. She wants to become an actress or a model once she finishes school. And during the workshop she already showed her full potential. Together with four other girls she went to a big shopping mall in Kharkiv and set up a model show on the escalator for her one-minute movie. Wearing a traditional Ukrainian dress and hairdo and also a beautiful, long, orange dress, Vika made a huge impression on the public watching the model show at the filming set - just as big an impression as the other four girl in her team.

Watch Vika’s video “Showtime”

To find out more about people with Down Syndrome in Ukraine, please go to 



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