The STRIVE team came together recently for a Strive Self Advocacy and Awareness Fun shop at Vaughn Park in Auckland.
The team learnt more about Self Advocacy and several members presented on the subject during the weekend.
One of the most exciting outcomes of the weekend was that the team created the FRED song, for Freedom, Respect, Equality and Dignity, in which all members contributed and they hope to share with the public soon.
Peter Rees said he looked at the different rights and articles under the United Nations Charter for the Rights of People with Disabilities.
“I also did some media training with a quest speaker Tanya Black and learnt about the rights of Disabled people with another quest speaker Rose Wall.”
Like Peter, Edward Borkin said he really enjoyed the ten-pin bowling and social aspects of the Funshop.
He said the group made posters about the rights of people with disabilities, and he really enjoyed the company of his fellow STRIVE members.
Alexandra Hewitt said that the weekend included a workshop around friendships. “We all talked about research around acquaintances, friends, close friends and friendships with Franco Vaccarino.”
“On Saturday Morning we learnt and discussed different types of media, then it was exploring advocacy and awareness in four groups. I have learnt to put my voice to use on media about our rights.”
Erin also enjoyed and contributed to the media training with positive feedback, “which was lots of fun”.
“One new thing I have learnt is more participation in this funshop that includes getting out of my comfort zone,” said Erin.
Andrew Oswin explained that members of Attitude TV came along to assist in the media training and how to prepare for interviews.
“ I also enjoyed the many self-advocates attending from all over New Zealand,” said Andrew.
“The Health and Disability Commission presented a powerpoint and video. They spoke around the issues that affect a lot of New Zealanders with disabilities and how to make a complaint,” said Andrew, who added that last day celebrated the 10-year anniversary of Caroline, Duncan and himself advocating for people with Down syndrome.
“I learned to use my self-determination, self-confidence, leadership and advocacy skills, and being a rolemodel to the other self-advocates who will be the future members of STRIVE.”
Jess Water attended as a Strive Buddy and said that this Funshop had been the best one yet.
“I enjoyed seeing some of the Self Advocates finally click as they come to understand what they’ve been taught.”
She said that on the Saturday night talent show Mohit wowed her with his dancing, Carlos with his poetry and Georgia Garrett with her singing.
“Every funshop I attend, there is never a dull moment. I love being able to see these guys prove the public perception wrong.
“There are no better advocates for people with Down Syndrome, than people with Down Syndrome. I hope to continue attending these funshops for as long as possible as I really do enjoy them. Cannot wait for the next one,” said Jess.