In late February of 1999, a small group of burned-out adoptive and foster parents, plus a small but committed number of mothers in recovery, most of whom had never met face-to-face, set out to change the world.
Frustrated by the lack of public awareness of FASD by both public and professionals, they began to wonder:
What if, on the ninth minute of the ninth hour of the ninth day of the ninth month of the year one thousand, nine hundred and ninety-nine, we asked the world to remember that during the nine months of pregnancy, a woman should remain alcohol free? And, what if we also asked the world to remember those millions of people who will never fulfill their genetic potential, because of prenatal alcohol exposure? At this magic minute in history, could we begin to change the world?
FASDay September 9, 1999 began in Auckland, New Zealand, where Minute of Reflection bells rang at 9:09 a.m., at Mt Albert Methodist church. Then it moved to Adelaide, Australia, and then to South Africa, where at 9:09 a.m., Cape Town volunteers gathered to hear the War Memorial Carillon that rang when Nelson Mandela was released from prison. Volunteers in Italy, Germany and Sweden held events and then FASDay crossed the Atlantic. There were events in every time zone across Canada and the U.S., including ringing of carillons in Toronto, Niagara Falls, Hastings, NE, and Austin & San Antonio, Texas. The westernmost activity was the community breakfast on the tiny island of Kitkatla, B.C., near the Queen Charlotte Islands, where the village bell rang at 9:09 a.m. followed by prayers in the native tongue by village elders.
This year will mark the 6th anniversary of that first International FASD Awareness Day.
For more information about this day and FASD checkout the FASDay Web site at WWW.FASDAY.COM.
How will we be marking this day?