We trained a group of self-advocacy facilitators from Down Turkey and supported them to establish and run a self-advocacy group for people with Down syndrome.


The challenge

In Turkey people with Down syndrome are often treated like children and decisions about their lives are made without them. They have limited skills, confidence and opportunities to speak up and advocate for their rights.


What we did

13 self-advocacy group facilitators trained.

We trained 13 people from Down Turkey to become facilitators of self-advocacy groups. This training included:

  • Key concepts of self-determination, human rights and citizenship;
  • Key issues surrounding self-advocacy groups and how to be a good facilitator;
  • A practical overview of how to set up and run a self-advocacy group;
  • A comprehensive range of exercises and activities for self-advocacy groups.

We then supported them to start and run a self-advocacy group for people with Down syndrome over a period of 10 months.


Long term impact

The group has supported its members with Down syndrome to develop their skills and confidence as self-advocates. It has supported them to speak up on behalf of themselves and other people with Down syndrome about a variety of issues. Examples include:

A self-advocate speaking at the UN Headquarters in New York.

Self-advocates speaking at the Turkish parliament.

Self-advocates being interviewed on Turkish CNN.