Meet our Ambassadors who advise us and provide feedback and oversight on the advice we receive from expert advisors and other stakeholders.

Meet the team

Andrew Domahidy - Australia

Hi, my name is Andrew Domahidy. I live in Perth, which is in Western Australia. We have some of the best beaches in the world here.

I am on the Down Syndrome Advisory Network for Down Syndrome Australia. I also work for Down Syndrome Western Australia. I sit on their board as an ambassador.

I work with a company called HBF in executive administration.

I love the Australian Football League (AFL) and follow Hawthorn and the Gold Coast Suns.

I also live independently in my own home.

My goals are to find a girlfriend and to be in control of my own life.

I also love doing Parkour.

I want to be an advocate because I like to challenge myself. I believe that I can do anything that I put my mind to, and I believe other people with Down syndrome can too.

I want to be a part of Down Syndrome International to show everyone else that Down syndrome doesn’t mean that you have to stick to the limits that other people might set for you.

I want everyone with Down syndrome to feel safe and know that they are valued and can do what they set their mind to.

Fahim Hassan - Bangladesh

I am Fahim Hassan, self-advocate for Down Syndrome Society of Bangladesh. I enjoy exercise like yoga, cycling, jogging. Hopefully, we will see you in Bangladesh in the future.

Janet Charchuk - Canada

I am a motivational speaker, self advocate, active community member and volunteer.  

I live independently and work part-time at a pre-k program and at a ranch.  

I am one of the founding members and past chair of VATTA, Voices at the Table for Advocacy, with the Canadian Down Syndrome Society.

I am the past chair of PEI People First. I have spoken on issues such as inclusion, equal rights, housing, and employment to educators, parents, lawyers, medical professionals, self-advocates, and politicians across Canada, the USA and as far as Trinidad and Tobago. 

With Special Olympics I have had much success competitively, winning Gold for Canada in the World Games in 2017 in the sport of snowshoeing.  I am also an athlete leader, spokesperson, mentor, and health messenger.

I enjoy sports, being involved in my community, being with my friends, cooking, yoga, and showing my abilities while speaking up for those who cannot speak up for themselves.

Morgan Maze - Indonesia

My name is Morgan. I was born in Jakarta to an Indonesian mother and a French father.

I attended the French school in Jakarta until the age of 14. I then studied from home with the help of my parents. I can speak Indonesian and French. I also understand some English but am not as good as with the other two languages.

I am currently assisting my mother, who runs a class for a group of 20 youngsters with Down syndrome. I help her prepare for each class and coordinate with my peers during the sessions.

I am an activist in the disability movement in Indonesia. I have participated in seminars in Indonesia and overseas, and have given a speech at the Geneva United Nations Office for the World Down Syndrome Day in 2019. 

I presented a project initiative to create a restaurant run by people with Down syndrome to Now-Us! Award of the Netherlands in 2019, along with nine other organizations from Asia and Africa, and I was the only person with an intellectual disability presenting a project at that event.  

I also helped my mother write “Easy Read Guidelines on Covid 19” for intellectually disabled people.

My story with my mom on “Self-advocacy” was featured in Narrative Power Collective Action Volume 2. They chose us, together with 20 other collaborators from around the world, to create this new narrative space. 

My hobbies are cooking, reading, hip-hop, swimming, gardening and playing the piano.

Eileen Dunne - Ireland

I am the past chairperson of the Down Syndrome Ireland National Advisory Council.

I am currently a member of the Regional Advisory Council for Louth / Meath in Ireland.  

I am an advocate, and I love speaking in public. I believe people with Down syndrome should be heard and they should be independent and part of society.  

I have given a keynote address in Trinidad and Tobago at a NODES (Network and Outreach for Disability Education and Sensitisation) conference at the University of the West Indies and spoken at the Down Syndrome Family Network Conference in Trinidad and Tobago. I have attended many international conferences in places such as Israel and Scotland as well as Ireland. 

I have also taken part in exchange programmes with persons with Down syndrome in Italy and Northern Ireland. I love travelling.

I live in rural Ireland. I went to Virginia College by boat because I live beside a lake. I enjoy walking in the woods with my dogs.

I lead a very busy life. I work in the clothes department of Tesco’s in Navan, County Meath, I swim and I am also part of the Ireland Artistic swimming group. I love dancing and attend dance workshops twice a week. Our dance group did a video, dancing to the song “We Are One”, for Ireland’s World Down Syndrome Day celebration in 2022.

I have appeared on Irish television many times, representing DSI. I  have also been interviewed on the radio. In 2015 I took part in  a film entitled Disabled/MisLabled which looked at how the lives of people with Down syndrome in Trinidad and Ireland have changed. 

I have won many awards, including the Principal’s award at Cavan Institute in Ireland in 2006.  

Charlotte Muthoni Hirst - Kenya

I am Muthoni Charlotte Martha Hirst. I am an Ambassador of Down Syndrome Society in Kenya and Down Syndrome International.

I was born and raised by an Afro-British (father) and an African (mother) together with my two lovely sisters in Kenya.

I attended Mountain View Academy as well as Augustan Academy in Nairobi while later studying at home with the help of my teacher as well as my parents.

As an Ambassador, I work together with my board members of the Down Syndrome Society of Kenya, where I attend all the meetings with our organization through the support of my supporter, Anney Joseph. I have also participated in various Down syndrome workshop activities, seminars and awareness.

I have worked in Keshasa company where we used to manufacture polythene paper bags until it was shut down. Currently, I am working at home, where I help with house chores such as cooking and cleaning.

I love reading novels, playing the piano, cooking, watching movies, reading bibles and also knitting.

My vision is to ensure all individuals with Down syndrome are assured of their human rights and valued by a more inclusive society.

I love the Edward “Eddie” Barbanell quote, who is an American Comedian and Actor with Down syndrome: “Having Down syndrome means nothing to me. I am special like everyone else. I do not let people judge me for having Down syndrome. The important thing is how I feel about myself. On the inside. I feel beautiful.”

Carlos Ramirez - Mexico

Carlos Ramírez was born on February 28, 1984, the younger of two brothers.

He is an experimental artist at the Mexican School of Down Art of the John Langdon Down Foundation in Mexico City. His father Works in the building industry, and his mother is a nurse. He has very strong bonds with his family and frequently mentions the acknowledgment he gets from them and how much they love him. His brother studies at UNAM´s National School of Visual Arts, so they both share a love of art. He admires his brother greatly and has a deep respect for his parents. He´s always been very proud that his family supports him and actively participates in his activities.

A fairly independent young man, Carlos takes seriously the fact that he is an adult. He likes to participate in social activities, and he has very good friends inside the workshop. He has always shown a keen icampnterest in matters involving couples, having a girlfriend and being in love. He seeks someone to share his time inside the Foundation and outside activities, such as going to the movies, having a cup of coffee, and going to parties.

At 22, he joined the Mexican School of Art, where he is very proud of the work he produces. He likes being an artist and being called “Mr. Carlos”. From the beginning, he showed a natural skill and liking for visual art and has a good trajectory in school. A devoted artist, he works in a detailed and precise way, paying close attention to every aspect of his compositions. He has many ideas to work on. His work is figurative but with a personal style. He uses a great variety of techniques, as he believes this enriches his work.

When he is able to attend the opening of an exhibition, he likes to toast with a glass of wine. He customarily drinks a little wine during lunch. Carlos believes that drinking wine is a sign of maturity, something that makes him a responsible, respectable man. When he doesn´t like or is not fully convinced about something, he has the habit of going to the academic office to announce that he is organizing a strike. He says he will make signs that say, “I do not agree”.

Carlos likes to ponder what he is about to do before working on it. He is a thorough artist whose work often exhibits a touch of humour and even irony. He is also a good cartoonist. His engraving work receives particular notice because of his mastery of technique.

Not only an artist, Carlos is also a good friend, brother and son, and especially, an excellent athlete. For several years, he practised taekwondo, where he reached the rank of second dan black belt. Although he no longer practices this sport, it left an important mark on his character, forging his discipline and effort.

Andrew Oswin - New Zealand

Hi, my name is Andrew and I am a self-advocate.

I was a member of the New Zealand Down Syndrome Association’s STRIVE (Speak up to be heard, Teamwork, Respect, Inclusion, Value individuality, and Empowerment) leadership Group for ten years.

I am now helping the new and current members as a mentor and ambassador and as a member of the STEP UP Group. STEP UP is for people with Down syndrome who are interested in self-advocacy, and our aim is to observe the new members of STRIVE. STEP UP stands for Stand up Loud and talk about participating and empowering people with Down syndrome with universal political rights.

I enjoy being a self-advocate because I know how important it is and what it means to me to represent New Zealand (my country).

I work one day a week for Parent to Parent, NZ, and volunteer one day a week for a day centre for people with dementia.

Hobbies and interests that I enjoy are being involved with my Special Olympics Athletics training (and athlete leadership), reading, piano playing, singing, ten-pin bowling, cooking, baking and going to church.

Travelling to other countries with my parents has been a wonderful experience, and I am hoping to do this some more.

Moyosore Ijale - Nigeria

My name is Moyosore Ijale. I am 23 years old.

I finished my secondary school in Oyelade Model and High School, Lagos, Nigeria.

I am the firstborn in my family.

I like out-door activities such as swimming, visiting the park, and the beach with my siblings. I also like listening to music, and I would like to be a musician in the future.

People look down on me and bully persons with Down syndrome in my country, I would like to use my music to advocate for the rights of persons with Down syndrome in my country.

We were trained by DSi in Down Syndrome Foundation Nigeria on how to speak for our rights.

Carla Mertz Salomón - Peru

My name is Carla Mertz Salomón, and I am an ambassador for Peru.

Down Syndrome International Ambassadors group are people with Down syndrome who represent organisations in our countries.

We meet once a month to share what is going on with people with Down syndrome in our countries. We help with ideas on how to empower more people in their rights and help train new self-advocates.

Each of us does things in our countries, and in the group, we share and plan new things to do.

I am an ambassador because my organisation, which is the Peruvian Down Syndrome Society, has chosen me as a representative.

We have a group of self-advocates, and I am actually an intern in my organisation.

I work for several rights that interest me:

  • Quality inclusive education, I help to bring the voice of people with Down syndrome to the schools, to break down myths, and let them see that we can learn too.
  • As a self-advocate, I participate by raising the voice of people with Down syndrome so that we can make our own decisions, work, study and do everything like any other person

Stuart Campbell - Scotland

I am a chatty, witty young man who has Down syndrome.

I live in East Ayrshire, Scotland.

Previously I did a poster presentation at WDSC 2009 for the Scottish Youth Parliament.

I would like to do more poster presentations, PowerPoint presentations, and promoting events but this time for DSi at events near me or abroad.

Shéri Brynard - South Africa

Shéri Brynard is the only qualified assistant teacher with Down syndrome in South Africa. Since she obtained her N6 Educare qualification, Shéri has been working as an assistant teacher at Lettie Fouché, a school for Learners with Special Education Needs. Shéri is a pioneer in her work to change perceptions about persons with Down syndrome for the past 21 years. Shéri has been working with learners with special educational needs for more than 14 years. It has made her more aware of the challenges that many people with Down syndrome have to overcome. Her daily exposure at school and the experience she gains there direct Sheri's thoughts regarding the rights that every human being has.

During the more than 800 public speeches she has delivered in South Africa and abroad, there have been a number of particular highlights. She has had the opportunity to address a committee of the United Nations, first in New York and then in Geneva, Switzerland. During these speeches, she addressed policymakers, ambassadors and delegates of different countries and made a plea for the rights of persons with intellectual disabilities. Shéri then had the opportunity to deliver opening speeches at a number of Down syndrome congresses, e.g., in Chennai, India; Glasgow, Scotland; and virtually at the International Down Syndrome Congress in Dubai, in 2021. 

Shéri has also had the honour of receiving invitations to deliver a speech at the University of Canterbury in England, as well as at three conferences hosted by Oxford University. She also addressed the "World Inclusion Conference" at Cambridge University in England and last year, she was invited to address an awareness event at the Anglia Ruskin Cambridge University.

Shéri has met Oprah Winfrey and serves as a spokesperson for the International Down Syndrome Association. Shéri was also seen in Getroud met Rugby and Binnelanders (two television series on the Afrikaans TV channel KykNet), and she has played leading roles in two different stage productions performed at the Vryfees in Bloemfontein and in Stellenbosch. For the past five years, she has also been the co-presenter of her own programme at a radio station, MED FM, in Bloemfontein. Sheri has been interviewed a number of times on different television programmes. In New Zealand, she was also invited to do an interview on national television, which was broadcast in New Zealand.

A documentary about Sheri's life was televised on National TV in Greece, with subtitles in Greek. Afterwards, Shéri was invited to speak virtually and then in person in Athens in 2023. During her visit to Greece, the National Greek TV invited her for an interview, and the National News reported on her visit and the work she does for the disabled. In June, Sheri had the opportunity to address an audience in Bruges Belgium, as well as an International Nursing Conference in Paris, France.

She has written a book, Sheri, just the way I am, about her own life, which was published by Lux Verbi. She is the first person with Down syndrome who was able to publish her experience in book form. Her book was a finalist for The Andrew Murray-Desmond Tutu Prize. The book is available in English and Afrikaans.

This young woman is an absolute inspiration and source of hope for young and old, especially for people who feel marginalized. People with challenges, parents and teachers and people who have lost heart especially find inspiration from Shéri to make the best of their circumstances. She teaches us to be grateful for who we are, as we are.

Pearl Lüthy - Switzerland

My name is Pearl Lüthy and I am 20 years old.

I was born in New Zealand and have lived a long time in Switzerland.

I speak English, Swiss German and German.

I am a Self Advocate from Switzerland and a new Ambassador for Down Syndrome International for insieme21, our Swiss German Down syndrome association.

I have been a self-advocate since I was 14 years old when I presented at World Down Syndrome Day in 2018 at the United Nations in Geneva. 

In 2018  I also made a presentation and performed with my violin at the World Down Syndrome Congress in Glasgow, Scotland.

In 2019 I attended a workshop and presented on the International Day for People with Disabilities at the European Commission in Brussels.

In 2023, I was able to talk and be a Moderator for DSI on World Down Syndrome Day at the United Nations in Geneva – it made me happy to learn how to help organize the speakers. 

I like being a self-advocate because I like to speak up for people with Down syndrome.

I believe that we need to be in our local schools, working in good jobs and living where we want with who we want.

I am working part-time as a teacher assistant in an international school, and enjoy working with the children and teachers. 

In 2024, I am going to begin to study at a Teacher's College in Zürich for a Diploma as a Teacher Assistant.

My hobbies are: performing with my violin, dancing, singing, cooking, football, skiing with the Special Olympics and scuba diving.

Halis Güney - Turkey

Hello, I am Halis Güney. I am 28 years old.

I have been working as a restaurant server at Hilton Istanbul Bosphorus for 5 years.

We have been working in the self-advocacy group which is supported by the Türkiye Down Syndrome Association for 2 years.

I also participate in DSi group activities.

I am happy to share our ideas here.

Chaica Al Qassimi - United Arab Emirates

My name is Chaica; I am a self-advocate from Sharjah, UAE.

I am fully focused on spreading awareness of inclusion, with representative roles at national and international organisations.

I am a Council Member and MENA Region Representative of Inclusion International and a UAE National Ambassador of  Down Syndrome International.

Currently, I work at Sharjah City of Humanitarian Services as a Self-advocate Coordinator. 

I have been involved in many projects around inclusion of people with disabilities. One of these projects is called Listen Include Respect, which is a guideline on inclusive participation.

I have also done many talks about inclusion in schools and within families.

I also help coordinate events about inclusion and self-advocacy nationally, and participate in other events intentionally. 
My aim is to keep spreading inclusion in any way possible and to represent what’s possible for people with Down syndrome.

Kate Powell - United Kingdom

I have worked one day a week for the Down's Syndrome Association for 20 years. I was a founder member of the Down 2 Earth group, I am the editor of their magazine.

I have attended conferences at the UN in New York & Geneva speaking about WORKFIT which is to support people in employment.

My hobbies are dance, drama, and swimming. As a swimmer, I represented Greater London in many Special Olympic events.

I belong to the Larondina Dance Company and have performed in many European countries promoting the benefit of dance to the health and fitness of the Down syndrome community.

Charlotte Woodward - United States

Hello! My name is Charlotte Woodward.

I am a passionate advocate for the human and civil rights of people with Down syndrome and those with other disabilities. 

I work at the National Down Syndrome Society as the Education Program Associate. I love my career at NDSS. It is a very stimulating and fulfilling experience, and I am given the opportunity to show responsibility and to take initiative. As the Education Program Associate, not only do I give presentations and speak at various conferences and events, I am also involved in education policy, I develop resources, and I do many other important advocacy activities. 

As an advocate, I consider it my mission to dispel stereotypes about people with Down syndrome and to invite others to make an effort to meet and to include people with Down syndrome and those with other disabilities in all facets of life. 

I have had four open-heart surgeries, and I received a lifesaving heart transplant on January 30, 2012. There is currently legislation before both the House and the Senate of the U.S. Congress that bears my name: the Charlotte Woodward Organ Transplant Discrimination Prevention Act. As the third registered lobbyist with Down syndrome, I am working hard to pass this important piece of legislation.  

I recently graduated from George Mason University, summa cum laude, with a Bachelor of Arts degree in Sociology with a concentration in Inequality and Social Change. My studies and my work perfectly complement each other. As a sociologist, I examine the structural and systemic inequalities in society that affect the lives of people with disabilities, and as an advocate, I use this knowledge to raise 
awareness and to affect positive change. 

I am a Board member of the Down Syndrome Association of Northern Virginia and am the Director of the DSANV Advocacy Program; I invite speakers from various disability organizations to speak to DSANV members about their efforts in the realm of advocacy. 

I am a member of the Arc of Virginia’s “A Life Like Yours” Self-Advocacy Alliance which advocates on behalf of Virginians with disabilities. 

I am a member of the Arc of the United States’ National Council of Self Advocates. I am also on the Policy and Positions Committee of the Arc of the United States.  

I had the honor of speaking at the 16th Conference of State Parties to the Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (COSP 16) at the United Nations. 

I have many additional interests, including music, dancing, theatre, art, baking, and traveling. 

I am so excited to be a Down Syndrome International Ambassador and I look forward to making new friends from around the world! 

Learn more about self-advocacy:

Advocacy and human rights