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Awareness Raising | Sani Foundation

Awareness Raising


The Foundation is currently undertaking a number of targeted communication activities with the goal of improving social inclusion of persons with IDs by challenging and improving societal perceptions.



World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) 2016


World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) is a UN observed global awareness day of what Down syndrome is, what it means to have Down syndrome, and how people with Down syndrome play a vital role in our lives and communities. It is observed every year on 21st March and this year the Sani Foundation partnered with Zambia’s Own Caribbean and African (ZOCA) Dance Fever to hold a fun and high energy ZOCA-THON. Dancers of all ages and talent showed up clad in their colourful dancewear with bandanas in hand to celebrate this day. The 2016 WDSD theme was “My Friends, My Community” - The benefits of inclusive environments


for today's children and tomorrow's adults. The ZOCA-THON was a truly inclusive event with people with Down syndrome dancing and having a great time amidst the masses that turned up for the event.The reality for many people with Down syndrome is that prevailing negative attitudes result in low expectations, discrimination and exclusion, creating communities where children and adults with Down syndrome cannot integrate successfully with their peers.

But where children with Down syndrome and other disabilities are given opportunities to participate, all children benefit from this and environments of friendship, acceptance, respect for everyone and high expectations are created. Not only this, but these environments prepare all today’s children for life as tomorrow’s adults, enabling adults with Down syndrome to live, work and participate, with confidence and individual autonomy, fully included in society alongside their friends and peers.


Why 21st March?


The date for WDSD being the 21st day of the 3rd month, was selected to signify the uniqueness of the triplication (trisomy) of the 21st chromosome which causes Down syndrome.  On this day, everyone around the world is invited to wear LOTS OF SOCKS  to get people talking about WDSD. Each year the voice of people with Down syndrome, and those who live and work with them, grows louder.


Kopa Film Festival


In April 2016, the Sani Foundation hosted its first ever Kopa Film Festival, which was a 3 day festival focusing and featuring people with intellectual disabilities and the diverse population that they make up.

Our Work - Awareness Raising

In Zambia, people with intellectual disabilities still face high levels of stigma and have their fundamental rights and freedoms denied. Their invisibility is accompanied by low expectations - they are still widely viewed as incapable, unable to live independently or contribute to society. But like anyone else, they would like to take part in a range of life experiences yet they face difficulties in doing so due to several societal barriers.

People with intellectual disabilities need to experience greater inclusion in societies and have their rights and freedoms respected. One of the best ways to achieve this is for them to have greater visibility and voice in all areas of public life. It is very rare that people with disabilities appear in mainstream media and when they do, they are portrayed in a stigmatising and stereotyped way, appearing either as superheroes or as objects of pity and compassion. They rarely appear in a way which shows that they constitute, as any other group in society, a very diverse population group.

This Film Festival was aimed at reaffirming the message that  persons with intellectual disabilities are more alike than different from persons without disabilities. They often face the same feelings, challenges and joys in life. Following the overwhelming success and positive responses that the festival received, we plan to scale up our outreach to conduct community screenings in various neighbourhoods within Lusaka including Bauleni, Matero, Mtendere and George compounds.