Welcome to the Kosala Dullewa Foundation
Something special happened three years ago.
Kosala Uditha Kumara Dullewa stepped out on to the stage at BMICH to give a one-man performance through "Diriya Narthana". Kosala, afflicted with Down's syndrome from birth braved the obstacles, through sheer perseverance to perform the intricate Indian dance form - Bharatha Natyam.
On that day we made a radical shift, from isolating people with disabilities to bringing them into our communities. Suddenly, people who had been excluded, invisible, became part of daily life. Some strode as adults from the abyss of homes into community settings. Others made more entries that are mundane – they were born to families whose intent was – simply – to love them.
All – the adults with disabilities, the newborn and families – became pioneers, confronting a wilderness of obstacles, prejudice, misconception and myth.
Our sons and daughters with Down's syndrome are now becoming an integral part of daily life. They attend our schools, participate in their communities. They play games with normal children, go to see cricket and football matches. They now go to the movies. Take part in public functions. Go shopping with their mothers and fathers without any one giving strange looks. Importantly, they contribute to their communities, giving back a measure of what they have gotten.
We are the families of individuals with Down's syndrome. Moreover, with sincere thanks, professionals – doctors, attorneys, therapists, teachers and everybody else – who rallied to us. We are the people who believe in our kids, demand their rights and get them affirmed. We are the people who supported them in all they did from infancy to adulthood. In addition, we are also them – we are people with Down's syndrome.
Along the way, many of us became experts. We had this odd notion that we knew our kids better than anybody did. We understood their needs and believed in their abilities. Therefore, we are demanding better health care, creativity in education, community support. We are lobbing for laws assuring their civil rights; draw the attention of education authorities; and, we worked together, to form the Kosala Dullewa Foundation. We worked tirelessly over these couple of years to foster a network of local groups across the country to reach out and embrace thousands of people – people with Down syndrome, their families, friends and the professionals who support them.
Together we can become a formidable force. We will then have the power to put new moms at ease, open doors to leadership for teens and secure a rewarding future for all people with Down's syndrome
Diriya Narthana ran for three years at the same time without a break. Each year we reached more people. We helped many to untangle from the shackles of timidity, embarrassment, select what ever you like. There is much remaining to be done. We must defend what we have gained and open new doors of opportunity. The Foundation incorporated by an Act of Parliament of the Government of Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka, for the benefit and to uplift children born with physical and mental disabilities.
Won’t you join us? No matter whether you are a parent, a grand parent, a self-advocate or a professional, you are welcome here.
Thank you for your interest!