An estimated 6,000 attendees comprised of families, schools, supporters, advocates, and SM employees, celebrated the triumphant life stories of people with Down Syndrome and their families at the 17th Happy Walk for Down Syndrome, which took place at the SMX Convention Center, Manila last February 24, 2019.
Happy Walk was held in celebration of the National Syndrome Consciousness Month and is an annual activity that promotes awareness, acceptance and inclusivity of persons with Down Syndrome into society. Happy Walk was organized by the Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, Inc. (DSAPI), in partnership with SM Cares.
The event featured performances from children affected with the condition, celebrity performances, and fun interactive booths. A parade around the SM Mall of Asia complex followed after the program allowing children with Down Syndrome, together with their families, to interact with the shoppers and tenants of the mall.
The event was graced by Hans Sy, Chairman of the Executive Committee of SM Prime Holdings together with US Ambassador to the Philippines H.E. Sung Kim and Ambassador designate for the Royal Thai Embassy, H.E. Vasin Ruangprateepsaeng, who have both long supported the advocacies of SM and DSAPI.
“Having a child with Down Syndrome has been one of the most remarkable experiences for me, as well as for countless parents and families. Some experiences can be so powerful that they have long-lasting and life-changing impacts on our lives.” DSAPI Chairman Mr. Elmer F. Lapeña shares.
Simultaneously, SM City Bacolod also joined the celebration and had their walk as well.
“At SM, we recognize the ever-changing needs of the members of the community where we are present, and the more we celebrate our relationship with groups like DSAPI, the more that we understand what needs to be developed in making a welcoming mall, including persons with disability.” said Bien Mateo, SVP of SM Supermalls and Director for SM Cares Program on PWDs.
“The Happy Walk is certainly one of the biggest events that continues to make beautiful stories for families to enjoy, to have fun, to be with one another, to treasure.” DSAPI Chairman Mr. Elmer F. Lapeña adds.
The Down Syndrome Association of the Philippines, Inc. (DSAPI) is a non-stock, non-profit organization, founded in 1991 by a group of dedicated and committed parents and concerned physicians. It aims to offer support to families who have a child with Down Syndrome and to initiate, develop, promote, encourage and support programs and projects concerning Down Syndrome.
SM Cares is the Corporate Social Responsibility arm of SM Prime Holdings, Inc. Its advocacies include Programs on Persons with Disabilities, Children and Youth, Women and Breastfeeding Mothers, Environment Sustainability, Senior Citizens, and Overseas Filipino Workers (SM Global Pinoy).
As a responsible integrated property developer, SM ensures that its CSR programs serve as a catalyst for positive change in the communities that it supports. To know more about SM Cares, you may visit www.smcares.com.ph, www.facebook.com/OfficialSMCares or email firstname.lastname@example.org.