On October 27th, 2021, RDSO hosted a World Occupational Therapy Day at its office in Kicukiro. In partnership with a team of occupational therapists, RDSO organized a joyful day for young adults with Down Syndrome under the theme of this year, “BELONG. BE YOU.” Occupational therapy is a very important health care profession that assists patients in the development of physical and cognitive abilities. Given the physical and cognitive challenges that individuals with Down syndrome deal with, occupational therapy is important, especially in the early life of children with Down Syndrome, and continues to be instrumental in the adult life of those with special needs or mild to severe disability.
World Occupational Therapy Day’s purpose is to promote the mission and goals of occupational therapy and increase awareness of the impact of occupational therapy. It is in that regard that World Occupational Therapy Day was organized, and Group Hirwa, a group of 14 self-advocates with Down Syndrome, was invited to celebrate the day. It was a fun day for the young adults as they played egg and spoon races, water and bottle races, stick games, inserting a string in a small hole, picking numbers that match, etc.; different games that require the use of fine motor skills, hand and eye coordination, and promote physical fitness as well as thinking.
World Occupational Therapy Day has been globally celebrated on the 27th of October every year since 2010 and RDSO is very grateful to RWATO, the association of occupational therapists in Rwanda, who came to celebrate with our young adults with Down Syndrome as they can readily relate to the value of occupational therapy in their lives, and it was great to witness the impact of occupational therapists in real-time through games.
Written By: Pascaline Mugiraneza Munezero/ Volunteer at RDSO