It gives me great pleasure to introduce another extraordinary person that I had the privilege to sit down and get to know better.
Georgina Corley is an artist, dancer, and all round beautiful person. I first met Georgina just after giving birth to my daughter Ruby with Down Syndrome. As her mother Rebecca is the founder of All 4 Down Syndrome Dubai she was my first point of contact into the world of DS all those years ago.
I still remember coming to her home with Ruby in her baby seat and watching from afar as Georgina ran around the house (she must have been about 7). I was curious to know what life was like with a child with DS, but of course the only way to really know what it was like as to live the experience for myself with my own daughter.
Georgina has grown into a delightful young woman as you can see. Thank you both to Georgina, and her mother Rebecca for sharing your thoughts with us.
1)Tell me about yourself
I am Georgina. My middle name is Mary. I am 17 and my birthday is April 28th. I like to be Independant, I like to paint. I love dancing with people. My favorite color is gold. I love working with colors.
2) What can you tell me about Down Syndrome?
Down syndrome makes me different. There is a walk at the park with lots of people with Special needs. There are balloons and we wear a special t- shirt. My mom helps people by talking about Down Syndrome.
3) What is your biggest gift?
The best thing about me is my painting and sketching. My heart keeps me alive.
4) What is your biggest challenge?
In Mawaheb I used to think to cut the string was difficult. I was wearing gloves. Cycling is difficult. It's hard to balance.
5) What is your biggest dream?
I dream about my mom cooking with me. I would like to work with her in the kitchen. I want to be a sailing instructor.
6) What scares you?
7) If you were famous, what would you want the world to know about you?
I'm an artist. I would tell people to come to Mawaheb to see my work.
I love to meet everybody.
I like to work with people in a team. I feel happy and excited and am enjoying myself. I am joy.
Thank you Georgina!! For those of you who aren't aware, Georgina is speaking about the upcoming World Down Syndrome Day Buddy Walk which is held yearly through All 4 Down Syndrome Dubai. The walk will take place at Zabeel park in the 3rd week in March. Please visit their website to register your interest. www.all4downsyndrome.com.
Rebecca's Interview (Georgina's Mum)
1) Tell us a bit about your family.
Georgina’s father and I met in Bahrain 27 years ago, then went back to England where Georgina and Emma were born. We then returned to Dubai when they were 1 and 6 months old. Thomas was born in Dubai 5 years later.
2) You founded the group All 4 Down Syndrome 14 years ago, tell us a bit about that. Why did you feel there was a need for support here in Dubai?
Being in England where Georgina was born, the support network was there and we didn’t need to look for guidance. Upon our return to Dubai, we realized this type of support did not exist.
My whole experience was more positive because of people who were able to give us guidance and the correct answers to the questions we had.
Returning here, each new parent of a child with Down Syndrome I met seemed to have such shocking experiences and felt heir lives were over when they just needed to be reassured that their lives were on a different path, and that this could a be a positive experience.
3) What is Georgina’s biggest gift?
Giving people pleasure. She amuses people, and loves interacting with anyone, and meeting new people.
4) What has been the biggest challenge for you with Georgina with Dubai?
The biggest challenge has been trying to get professionals to understand that Georgina is far more capable than what she appears. In some cases she could have achieved so much more during her education. We have experienced some of the most caring and determined teachers who have taken it in their stride to help develop her potential. In the years of Georgina having LSA/shadow teachers her best one was the one who had never worked with anyone with special needs before. She saw Georgina for who she was, and not what she has.
The continuous challenge that will always be there is the clarity of Georgina’s speech.
Initially my husband and I wished that if we had a child with special needs, it wouldn’t be Down Syndrome. At least we could come to terms with it without the rest of the world knowing. But within the first few years of Georgina’s life we realized we are the lucky ones.
With Dubai being our home for all of our children’s lives, we always assumed we would have to return to Europe to further Georgina’s adult education, but as Dubai has grown, Georgina’s social and educational training is as good here as she would be getting back in England.
Thank you Rebecca for sharing this with us and for creating a support network for people with Down Syndrome in Dubai!