After a few meetings we re-birthed a new association and started meeting every third Thursday in the month. We enjoyed many social events, such as tea parties, kite flying at Fort Charlotte, boat trips, and the most important days on our calendar, our " Buddy Walk/ Fun Day" and most recently " World Down Syndrome Day" on March 21st.. These two events are our biggest fundraiser of the year and a great time to bring awareness to our community of the importance of our special children and their every day needs.

We have much to accomplish here in the Bahamas, being such a young organization. We must help our families change their mentality of keeping our children hidden as well as educating our Bahamian people on "What is Down Syndrome?"

We have now established the first Down syndrome Center in the Bahamas and as far as we know the first ever in the entire Caribbean. The center has two classrooms, an art and music room, a library, and a fully equipped kitchen. The center is fully furnished but we continually seek the funding to keep our center fully operational.

We have raised all the funds privately to re-furbish the facility and we are happy to say that this year, 2013 our Minister of Education saw our need and has allotted us a small grant to assist us with our salaries for our center. We are still in need of continual financial support to ensure we meet all of our financial obligations.

Our classroom and office were opened in September 2011 and provides a special learning space for our younger children. We have eight children in our early intervention program. They receive the best in education from highly qualified teachers as well as all of their therapies:( i.e speech, physio and occupational ).

In January 2012, we started our Saturday programs, such as basketball, soccer, horseback riding, art and cooking classes . We still have many more programs to incorporate but these all take funding to put proper programs in place. We are hoping to add dance, computer, craft making and much more. We are now working on programs to train our DS adults for working in the center and to also learn trades so they can find jobs here in Nassau. We are also looking at training our children to manufacture products that we can market to sell in order to maintain the ongoing running of our center.

In July of 2012, we launched an adult program for all of our adults who have been sitting at home. They are now engaged in a wonderful program that has been especially designed for them. Their program includes: math, English, reading writing, cooking, art and music as well as outings to the grocery store, bank, and great field trips!

We would like to see our center as a safe haven, to educate and provide the best learning facility for our children. We also want to provide a space for our Adults to learn their needed life skills. We also want to ensure that our children get the necessary therapies that they need to enhance their learning and future development.

We are grateful to those individuals and companies who have embraced our cause but there is so much more to be done. We hope that you will see our need and assist us in enhancing the betterment of our special children.

Sincerely
Cheryl Johnson Newell
President ( BDSA)

Cheryl Johnson Newell: President
Ida Poitier Turnquest: Vice President
Andrea Knowles: Assistant Vice President
Stephanie Delancy: Treasurer
Georgan Farquharson: Assistant Treasurer
Denise Bullard: Secretary & Office Manager
Betty Taylor: Chaplin
Dr. Tonya Roker-Davis: Medical Consultant

Mr. James Lyle          Mr. Brian Albury
Mr. Brian Dorsett      Mrs. Michelle Farrington
Mrs. Beth Bethell       Mrs. Sandra Pearce- Knowles