About APD North West
Techford Centre – Klerksdorp
Cultural stigmas and a lack of access to information can stop families who have persons with disabilities from receiving the help they need, but Tecford, an enablement centre for persons with disabilities in Klerksdorp is fighting to change that.
The South African Human Rights Commission states that persons with disabilities are mostly disadvantaged in their communities and this prevents them from accessing education and wage employment opportunities in the formal economic world and Tecford provides pathways for these.
The centre is a day care centre that develops, educates, advocates for, supports and enables persons with disabilities, particularly those from the Kosh area in the North West.
While Tecford generates income through various activities, including producing wire clamps for Anglo gold mines and sewing tracksuits for local schools. It provides for the 60 people it supports in ways that it otherwise would not be able to do.
Spes Bona – A leader in breaking the barriers of denied reasonable accommodation and assistive devices and as a result it has given birth to talents of artists etc…
The UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD) sees the definition of disability as fluid and ever-evolving. It recognises that disability is imposed by society
when a person with a physical, psychosocial, intellectual, neurological and/or sensory impairment is denied access to full participation in all aspects of life, and when society fails to uphold the rights and specific needs of individuals with impairments.
In Rustenburg, Spes Bona is a home for 52 persons with disabilities. The home serve as a pro-active forum for the advancement of persons with physical disabilities so as to enable them to attain their maximum level of independence and the prevention of the occurrence of physically disablement and a mouthpiece for reasonable accommodation in the North West area.
The home encourages its residents to become empowered and independent in breaking through the barriers created by society through reasonable accommodation workshops.
While the concept of accommodation itself is fairly easy to understand – for example, making existing facilities accessible to wheelchairs users, or reorganizing workstations – the question of what is ‘reasonable’ in this regard is often less clear and Spes bona has been spreading the word around Rustenburg.
21-year-old Keorapetse Thusi, who is studying jewellery, art and design at Orbit TVET College is a resident at Spes Bona and he believes that through the funds raised via Casual Day, he has been able to send out a message to the college about reasonable accommodation and he feels welcome at school now. Thusi’s biggest dream is to travel the world.
APD North West Programs
Amelia After Care Centre in Potchefstroom
Persons with disabilities make up approximately 15% of the South African population and it is estimated that 8 in 10 persons disabilities are unemployed.
In a country like South Africa where the unemployment rate is approximately 27.7%, entrepreneurship could save the day. In particular, it could give persons with disabilities greater independence and the ability to support themselves financially and Amelia After care centre is the bridging this gap.
Amelia is a home and a safe workplace for 128 adults with intellectually impairments.
Amelia After Care Centre, North West has an arts and crafts workshop, woodwork class, steelworks class and therapy class.
Arts and Crafts:
Corre Pelser runs the arts and Crafts workshop. Corre’s daily workspace consists of 24 workers, whom on a daily basis attend classes prior to producing art, deco, paintings, knitting and tapestry.
Hans Kleins is the Senior instructor of the woodwork class at Amelia house. The main focus of his workspace is the restoration of furniture for the community and the South African defence force in the North west – This is used as means to substitute financial wellbeing
The steel works class at Amelia after care have a motto which keeps them going, and it is ‘to serve the community that nurtures us’. The class produces high-end steel products that are deemed as a ‘social necessity’ in the
Potch area. Braai stands and fireplaces are the highest selling products.
Margie Du Plessis runs the therapy class, this class consists of the weakest children and is focused on building mental strength through the use of recreational toys and board games. Margie believes that the balance in early childhood development lives within puzzle pieces, colouring books and collages put together from cut out pieces from magazines
Addressing unemployment and discrimination Renska Deetlefs from Amelia says “Very few people truly understand what it’s like to parent a special needs child,” she says. “It’s very tempting to want to isolate yourself because you second guess yourself ….
I believe that isolating oneself, while a natural temptation, is really death in disguise. Because you begin to believe that you are the only one who feels the way that you do, that your pain and your challenges are unique, and that no one understands. But that’s not true.” Not only has “Casual Day helped us promote the care and advancement of persons with disabilities, but it has helped us unite as a community to work towards being an inclusive society with equity”
Through the promotion of Casual Day and being Everday heroes, Amelia aftercare centre calls on the South African government to do a dedicated review of policies that are meant to support persons with disabilities to give them a better life. Some old policies will need to be revamped and new ones put in place where necessary.
This must be done with a focus on critical areas like education and skills development, start-up finance and to influence the general environment to be more friendly towards people living with disabilities.