The project started in December 2009. It aimed to raise awareness of learning disabilities in a de-stigmatising way. Its title, “Once upon a Down Syndrome” was deliberate to capture the attention of the general population, in particular, those from sub Saharan region of Nigeria (resident in Swale) whose culture and tradition portrays disability as a curse or taboo. The perception that disability is a curse has the effect of making families not fully acknowledge that their children have disabilities or access support services. Consequently these families and their children are discriminated upon and disenfranchised within the community.
Diversity House used this project to raise awareness and to create opportunities for families/parents with children with learning difficulties to come together to share their experiences and challenges encountered in bring up their children. These challenges might come in the form of family accusations and awful religious and traditional beliefs; stigmatization, health challenges the children may exhibit and also the need to know the best way of training them up to live independent lives.