56 Albania Down Syndrome Individuals and Families Supported by International Aid for COVID-19

The Global Down Syndrome Foundation (GLOBAL) has pledged over $116,000 in COVID-19 emergency aid to help families and Down Syndrome organisations in countries including Albania and Kosovo.

The grants will be used to provide food, medical care, shelter support and other assistance to those with Down Syndrome and their families who are struggling during the pandemic.

“GLOBAL is struggling financially too but we decided to convert our educational grants to COVID-19 emergency grants because the need is so great right now, and we simply needed to tap our reserves and help our Down syndrome community,” says Michelle Sie Whitten, GLOBAL President and CEO. 

“We didn’t think we could fund the overwhelming number of family grants but with the incredible generosity of The Salah Foundation, a private invitation-only foundation, we were able to fund every single one. My staff were literally crying as they read the applications and we feel beyond blessed to provide some modest relief.”

In Albania, food packages were sent to 56 individuals with Down Syndrome and their families. This, GLOBAL said will help them get through the upcoming winter as government support, and jobs, have dried up.

Many of our donors have frozen their support, project grants have been postponed, and unfortunately, our government left the non-profit sector out of financial support packages,” says Emanuela Zaimi, Executive Director of Down Syndrome Albania Foundation.

“Feeling hopeless and exhausted, we needed support and luckily GLOBAL stepped in and provided this amazingly generous grant, making a world of difference for 56 families of our community. We are very grateful to GLOBAL and to anyone who contributes to its mission, as this help reaches us too!”