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Supporting children with Down Syndrome

Santiago, Chile.

Meet the local nonprofit working to help kids with Down Syndrome succeed in education and achieve an independent future.

Who Are They?

Fundacion Complementa is made up of a team of Psychotherapists, Physical therapists, Social workers and Disability Support workers united in their passion to provide vulnerable kids with down syndrome a happy and independent future. They provide subsidised care at a dedicated facility on the outskirts of Santiago, supporting children and their families through childhood, adolescence and early adulthood.

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Why is their work so important?

ECONOMICS

Private disability care is an expensive service and families generally struggle under increased financial burden.

(Complementa, anecdotal)

EDUCATION

The public education system offers few support for children with disabilities, most integrated into mainstream classrooms.

(Rotarou, 2017)

VULNERABILITY

Young adults with down syndrome find it challenging to find employment and live  independently. 

(Complementa, anecdotal)

HELPING DISABLED KIDS

Explore this Nonprofits amazing work first-hand.

What do they do?

Complementa offer personalised support to over 140 families, focusing upon the creation of tailored care strategies to maximise the abilities of children with Down Syndrome. They hope that the beneficiary can experience a holistic process of development from a young age, becoming an autonomous adult, integrated into both their family and social environment and able to embrace their own identity.

Personalised Support

Complementa offer 1-on-1 support and group classes to beneficiaries, supporting every aspect of their development. At an early age, this revolves largely around physical therapies. However, as the child grows, support pivots towards character, skills and inter-personal development. The team at Complementa also offer a personalised package of support to families, recognising the increased stress of caring for a child with Down Syndrome. Care is subsidised based upon the family's economic position and regular social events are held for parents and siblings of beneficiaries so that they can share their stories, relax and socialise in a caring and understanding environment. 

Transition to Independent Adulthood

Whilst the foundations youngest beneficiary is only two months old, their eldest is 36 years. As beneficiaries enter adulthood, staff see that how they define themselves as part of the broader Chilean community becomes increasingly important. A big part of developing their identity is employment. Complementa has been working with local businesses to shatter the stigma associated with Down Syndrome in the work place, helping beneficiaries achieve employment, and an independent livelihood. By focusing upon well-informed and trusting relationships with potential employers, they have been able to assist beneficiaries in securing positions in legal firms, banks, kitchens and manufacturing.

What do locals think?

Lauren

Mother of Beneficiary

"The care and support they offer here has helped me connect with my daughter in new ways. That is so special for me".

Adrianna

Complementa Beneficiary

"I come every afternoon after normal school has finished to study with my friends".

Ana-Maria

Complementa Director

"We aim to provide a safe space where people with Down Syndrome can learn about themselves, know themselves and love themselves".

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