A Dubai schoolgirl with Down syndrome wants to make the runway more inclusive | Tech Rasta


A Dubai schoolgirl with Down syndrome is taking pictures to make it as a model.

Amanda Dsilva, 19, has already been featured by Dubai-based Coega Sunwear and has been shortlisted for Huda Beauty.

He is also modeling a disability center as he embarks on what he hopes will be a fruitful career in front of the camera.

Down syndrome is a genetic condition that typically affects learning development and physical features.

“I love photography. I love cameras,” said Amanda, a Year 13 student at Gems Winchester School, Dubai, who is from Mumbai, India.

Anita Dsilva’s mother says Amanda wants to inspire others and show there is no limit to what you can achieve.

“We continue to despise them. They have a lot of potential. Even as a mother, I think I underestimated Amanda. But he surprises me every day,” Ms Dsilva, who works as an office manager, said Of the Nation.

Her husband Patrick is a stay-at-home dad. The couple has an older daughter, Amber, 22, who works in Canada.

Speaking about Amanda’s passion for modelling, Ms Dsilva said her daughter was a “natural”.

“He enjoys it a lot. She wants to pursue a modeling career, if agencies are willing to include children like her.”

He feels there are very few companies that fully embrace inclusivity, and he wants that to change.

She said Amanda was lucky to find a modeling agency – the Dubai-based Mariam George Agency – that promotes diversity and body enhancement.

“There is a lot being said and done. But the real truth is different,” said Mrs. Dsilva.

“If it’s not modeling, which is her passion, I don’t think there are many opportunities for kids like her.

“They don’t get the opportunity to go out, find a job and prove themselves. I don’t see much of that. We can do more for them.”

The boy thrives in school

Recounting his difficulties in getting a place to join Amanda in school in Dubai several years ago, Dsilva said, β€œIt was very difficult.

“He started in a regular school when he was 6 years old. He was unhappy there because he was isolated. He used to lock himself in the washroom. He would cry to go to school. For three years, I was knocking on every door to get in, and no one luck.”

Ms Dsilva said she was eventually referred to Winchester School by the Knowledge and Human Development Authority, the Dubai government department that oversees the private education sector.

Amanda has blossomed under the support and care from teachers, students and school administration, her mother said.

“He has never faced bullying or harassment. Instead, they encourage and encourage him,” Mrs Dsilva said.

“My daughter has come a long way from a shy, timid girl who does not like noise or the presence of other people.

“I’m sure other children have problems. But if we give them our guidance, support and most importantly, our patience, they can go far.

Updated: 31 October 2022, 4:00 am


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