3/21 is World Down Syndrome Day.

To celebrate, Finnish photographer Veikko Kähkönen teamed up with FAIDD (The Finnish Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities) to produce extraordinary pictures of people with Down syndrome.

The aim of the campaign was to inspire, raise awareness, and shed a different light on Down syndrome. People with Down syndrome are seldom represented in the media as powerful, strong, and confident. This was something these images wanted to change.

The models were asked to tell the photographer how they would like to be portrayed in a picture, and the results turned out to be full of emotion and strength. An inspiring video was made of the whole project, watch it with English subtitles below.

A Finnish website Oonupee was also set up to reveal the full set of pictures, and to encourage people to donate for an employment program for disabled youth.

More info: worlddownsyndromeday.org

Down syndrome is not an obstacle to lead a full and happy life

People with Down syndrome can in fact contribute greatly to the societies around them

Yet, they are seldom represented in the media as strong and confident people

These pictures wanted to change all that!

The photographer asked five amazing models to tell the team how they would like to be seen in a picture. The results were amazing!

Tutu-Liisa (39) for instance wanted to be seen as a swan, because she wanted people to feel her free and warm spirit

Her passion is dancing

And she also acts frequently

Valtteri (28) enjoyed the photo shoot as well. “These pictures turned out to be really lovely and cute”

Olli-Pekka (33) has always been drawn to rock bands, and he currently plays in one himself

“Everything rock’n’roll is cool. I’m athletic, sexy and good looking”

The pictures will be shown in shopping malls across Finland during this week

The hope is that passersby will get inspired by these shots. “I’m sure they’ll all want my autograph”

Maija (20) is starting her modeling career. She has gotten international attention from the BBC

She dreams of becoming a singer or a dancer

Maija felt it was important to take her dog Bella to strike a pose with her

This is Olli’s fiancée, Inka (29)

Inka is a woman full of ambition and confidence, and she works as a radio host. In these pictures, she wanted to pay a tribute to her idol, Shakira

“It’s no longer Inka on the pictures. It’s Shakira”

We feel you Inka!

Watch the heartwarming video of the campaign below: