March 21 is a busy day. It’s World Poetry Day, a global celebration of the written and spoken word. It’s also the International Day of Nowruz, an ancient festival for the vernal equinox, the first day of spring in the Northern Hemisphere. And the United Nations established the International Day of Forests on the 21st of March in 2012.
But not everyone will be celebrating. It’s World Down Syndrome Day, and many people with Down syndrome face obstacles in education, employment and even basic rights. In advocacy group CoorDown’s latest campaign, people with Down syndrome from four countries--the United Kingdom, Albania, Switzerland and Italy--participate in these happier holidays until one of them breaks the reverie with sobering facts.
Created by FCB Mexico and Small New York, the short film highlights the lack of autonomy experienced by many people with Down syndrome worldwide, in direct conflict with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals for 2030. The spot also recruited an international production crew: It is directed by Rudolf Péter Kiss, a Hungarian, and was produced in Budapest by Swiss company Gosh. Previous CoorDown spots for World Down Syndrome have featured celebrities like Olivia Wilde.
CoorDown will also be represented at UN headquarters in New York on March 21 by Marta Sodano, 25-year-old woman with Down syndrome who will act as a “self-advocate” at the “Leave No One Behind in Education” Conference. Global partners and supporters of the campaign include Down Syndrome International, Down Syndrome Australia, Down Syndrome Association (UK), Down Syndrome Albania Foundation and the Swiss associations Art21 Association Romande Trisomie 21 and Progetto Avventuno.