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CAPCA

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INVITATION TO JOIN CAPCA

If you are an adult with Down syndrome who is interested in learning how to build your own version of a great life while improving your community, we are looking for you. Because Ireland needs future community leaders with Down syndrome. 

 

Through a generous grant from the Irish Government and with guidance from Rethink Ireland, we are able to offer this pilot run of our new Creative Approaches to Practical Community Advocacy (CAPCA) course free of charge to participants. Sign up soon, because we may have to limit the places available.

Who are we?

 

For anyone unfamiliar with us, hello! 

 

We are Fionn and Jonathan Angus, co-founders of Fionnathan Productions. 

Fionn says, “We started this company nine years ago, and a lot of that time has been helping me, a young man with Down syndrome, create a great life for myself.” Jonathan adds, “We are more than ready to share all we’ve learned in the process.” 

Fionn’s accomplishments include:

  • Managing his bespoke disability support service (first in Ireland!)

  • Spokesman for Decision Support Service, meeting with Leo Varadkar

  • Successfully lobbying 107 UK MPs for the Down Syndrome Act 2022

  • Trustee to Down Syndrome Ireland and three other NGOs

  • Teaching nature conservation to children in 90 schools

  • Presenting at 30 universities, the Oireachtas, UK Parliament, and the UN

  • 700 interviews for his Happiness Project (over 4 million Youtube watches)

  • Interviewed by RTE, Irish Times, BBC, Sky News, and many podcasts

  • Doing stand-up comedy at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival

  • Performing traditional fiddle music in the Amazon Rainforest

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Why do we do this?

It’s often noted that people with Down syndrome are happy, generally speaking. That can be a great strength. But it’s also true to say many of them don’t have the degree of choice in their lives that other adults take for granted. And they often lack ways to show all they can do. 

People with Down syndrome are an undervalued resource to build a better society. Because their skill set is different from everyone else, that difference is an essential element the community needs for its health.

Fionn has famously said that the greatest obstacle to his success has been the low expectations of people he encounters, perhaps a factor limiting the ambitions of others with Down syndrome. There’s a lot of evidence of this. We’ll be focusing on the positive: what you can do to create a great life for yourself while making the world better.

What are we going to do?

CAPCA has four parts:

  1. An eight week Online Course, made up of two evening Zoom calls per week, Tuesdays from 6:00 pm until 7:30 pm and Thursdays from 7:00 to 8:00 pm, April 9 - May 30, 2024. (If you miss a Tuesday, we’ll send you the recording for viewing before the next session. If you miss a Thursday, no worries - these are optional review and discussion sessions.)

  2. A two day, in-person Art Retreat, 12th & 13th June 2024, in Callan, near Kilkenny town (Specific dates to be confirmed. If you can’t make it, you can create your art piece at home.)

  3. A three hour, in-person Pitching Event and Graduation, July 3, 2024, in Dublin City. (If you can’t attend, this can be an online thing)

  4. Your Community Project, which begins and ends when you choose (with the support of your mentor)

 

Below we’ll tell you a bit more about each part. 

Online Course

Each week we’ll have two meetings. The Tuesday meetings will be modules that we have developed to teach what real citizenship looks like, or can look like. Some of these ideas are more than 200 years old, others come from a book just published last month. After the introductory session, the themes for each week will be Freedom, Life, Purpose, Home, Support and Money, six Keys to Citizenship, held together by Love, the keyring. The final week will be a review of the journey we’ve traveled, and an opportunity for each participant to share their project idea.

And in these Tuesday meetings, as well as presentations by experts, each person will have opportunities to say what they want to say on the topics we discuss. But this really becomes the focus on the Thursday meetings. We’ll review some of the main things from the week’s theme in a much more free-flowing, participant-led process. This way, participants will learn from the leadership team, and practice leadership skills themselves. 

Fionn and Jonathan will be the main creators and facilitators of the course. Besides Fionn, each module will have a guest presenter with Down syndrome who will design and deliver parts of the course, sharing personal experiences that relate to the evening’s theme.

 

Because the course work online will be a combination of presentations by experts and discussions between participants, it’s important that all applicants intend to participate in all or nearly all sessions.

Everyone who attends the course will be expected to develop a Community Project idea, including a mini speech and art project to pitch the plan to others. This presentation could be completed either at the Art Retreat in June or at home with the participant’s supporter. 

Art Retreat

After all the work online, we plan to bring most of us together for an Art Retreat in mid June. The retreat will last two days, 12th & 13th starting late morning and ending late afternoon the following day. It will be in the town of Callan, near Kilkenny in Ireland.

We’ll have group movement activities, guidance to think through and record some further ideas for your project, time and help to build a diorama (a 3D vision of the community change your project will make, inside a box) for your project pitch, and other surprises.

Just like the online part, there is no cost for participants (though travel is self-arranged). Most places will be awarded to participant / supporter teams of two. Participating in the eight week online course is required, but does not guarantee a place on the retreat.

For those who cannot join the Art Retreat, we will provide you with instructions and guidance to make a diorama for your community project at home.

Pitching Event and Graduation

Many of you will want to join us in person, in Dublin on the 3rd of July. There we’ll have an award ceremony, a book launch, a keynote speech from a celebrity with Down syndrome, and the possibly of pitching your project to an invited list of potential project mentors. These are people who have proven themselves to be community doers, influential and knowledgeable in turning community project ideas into real change. They will help you later to put your Community Project into action.

If you can’t attend this event, you will have an opportunity to record a video of your pitch, which we will share online with potential mentors. (Mentors might eventually work with you online or in person.)

All course participants will receive a certificate of completion and a copy of a new book Everyday Citizenship, a key source for our curriculum, whether you attend in person or not.
 

Community Project

This is where you take the lead. Participants with Down syndrome now attempt to make their vision for change in their community a reality. We say ‘attempt’ because there’s no guarantee of success in life, especially where your aims are ambitious. But there’s no harm in trying your best and failing, either. In fact, sometimes we learn more when things don’t go to plan. 

In one sense, the work begins anew when CAPCA ends. But we’ll make ourselves available to answer questions and offer help as we can. You should also have the support of your supporter and a mentor. 

Plus, we plan to offer resources for some of the projects that require a bit of additional support. 

We warmly invite you to register your interest in working, and to see what ideas we come up with together. 

We feel that Ireland and the world is ready for change, and it can only happen if people get informed, get inspired, and take action for the good.

Please do let us hear from you, and if you are ready to register for this project, just click the button below to apply!

If you have any questions, please reach out to us at:

fionnathan.productions@gmail.com

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