Friends Day Care Center


 “In South Africa, people with disabilities face multiple forms of discrimination in various social spheres, including in respect of access to health care services, employment and education.”

(Sources: Research Brief on disability and Equality in south Africa:

  • Around 1.8m disabled in Western Cape
  • No educational policies implemented
  • Only 2% have access to facilities!
  • Scholar transport for disabled is sorely lacking.


Friends Day Centre (“FDC”) was founded in 1959 as a care and learning facility by the mother of a young boy who had special needs.

An NGO and NPO, registered with the Departments of Health and Social Development of the Western Cape, it has a well-established reputation for offering quality care in the communities it serves.

FDC currently caters for 105 learners with severe and profound physical and mental disabilities, ranging in age from 2 to 44 years (from "Cradle to Grave") of which only 4 are vocals!

The Centre presently consists of 10 classrooms, a physiotherapy room, a Jacuzzi and a sensory room and in addition, offers independently run After Care/Holiday Care facilities.

The 49 staff members consist of one Psychologist, Occupational Therapists, Speech Therapists, Programme Implementers, Care Givers and Assistants (a ratio of 1:4 against the 1:6 or even 1:8 norm) and Support Team (bus drivers and housekeeping staff).


Courtesy: Friends Day Centre) (Courtesy: Friends Day Centre)

As per the long-term lease agreement with the owners of the property, the Department of Public Works, in exchange for a nominal rental FDC is responsible for the maintenance of the building and surrounds.

Unfortunately, bad management over the past few years left the centre in a very difficult position. A large portion of their income went towards the repair of their 15-year-old buses instead of the maintenance of the existing facility. The centre is in dire need of renovation and refurbishment.

The Board of Trustees recently appointed a new Manager, Johann Opperman, who is slowly turning things around and with whom we have already built a strong relationship.


“To be the Voice.”


To enhance the quality of life of both learners and staff and put Friends Day Centre on a sustainable path through projects offering safe, secure, user- and environmentally friendly solutions.


1.  To level and repave the entrance area of the current facility and reposition stormwater pipes;

2.   To add a covered walkway to existing structure and fix holes in existing one to protect wheelchair users, parents and carers from the elements;

3.   To fix the area at the back to facilitate off-loading of learners from buses;

4.   To renovate the outside pool and surroundings for hydro treatment (Full renovation costs pledged by Pools4Us);

5.  To acquire 2 specially equipped, new generation, 16-seater buses for scholar transport.


A - Estimated Cost:

R 1,670,000

B - Funding:


In conjunction with Friends Day Centre; Club’s own funds;

Contributions from other Rotary Clubs; Contributions from Corporates/Suppliers

Donations are welcome:

Rotary Club of Century City Cape Town

Account No. 071187715 

Standard Bank

Milnerton Branch Code 026509

Reference: Name and FDC


  • Acquisition and installation of a security gate for one of the classrooms (With FDC)
  • Donation of 6 wheelchairs (RC Nunspeet of Netherlands, Claremont and our club)
  • Donation of blinds (Regal Concepts)
  • Setting-up a water-wise garden (our club)
  • Revamping of Jacuzzi area (our club)
  • Establishing a Project Team (4 of our members, 1 Manager and 1 Architect)




 Local and Overseas Clubs/Donors Meetings with key stakeholders:

  • FDC Board of Trustees
  • Western Cape Departments
  •  Others



Paredesi, which means paradise in  Xhosa, is a small Educare centre in Phoenix township, Cape Town, providing a permanent home for four orphans, a day care centre for pre school children, a registered Grade R class preparing learners for primary school and an after school care facility. Ages range from six month to fourteen years.  Children are dropped off about 08:00 then picked up again between 16:00 and 18:00.  Paredesi provides two basic meals a day. The learners at after school care are supervised with their homework by teachers and volunteers.

Paredesi receives government funding for twenty four, the Grade R learners, but care for up to seventy children daily. Parents are required to pay a monthly amount per child plus a contribution to stationery, however, Paredesi is still dependent on charitable donations to cover food and utility expenses. There are five paid staff members including one who lives on the premises with the orphans.  

The premises consist of four small rooms, one of which has no heating or lighting, there is a toilet with wash basin but no shower facility, there is also a small covered yard. The main room has a tiny area cordoned off as a kitchen. Every spare inch of space is utilised for storage and the staff work miracles on a daily basis moving items around to allow the children room to play. During the summer months a roll of artificial grass is placed in the yard to give the illusion of a garden.  The only outdoor play area is at the side of a drainage ditch, it is a public right of way so the children have to be closely supervised.

The main language used and taught at Paredesi is English. In schools from Grade four onwards to university, students are taught all subjects in English, however primary schools are free to teach Grades one to three in the major mother language of the surrounding community.  The primary school that most of the Paredesi Grade R progress to has up till now taught in English in the first three grades but from the next academic year are changing to Xhosa, this will mean that Paredesi learners will have to revert to Xhosa for three years then relearn English again from Grade four. This leaves them dealing with not only learning new subjects but learning them in first one then another language.

Our Rotary club is working to partner with the Mikhulu Child Development Trust on their book sharing project which trains facilitators to work in the community keeping the learners progressing in English.  The short term goal will cost R4000 (approx $250) to equip one trainer with the reusable ‘library’ of books required, but one trainer can work with up to eight facilitators at a time so the initial cost can in time reach many more in the community.

Long term we are looking to find suitable premises which can be redeveloped the give the orphans a dedicated living space, provide classrooms for the existing Grade R and fulfil the requirements to re-register with the Education Department to offer Grades one, two and three classes being taught in English. It is more difficult to quantify this, as a lot depends on the premises obtainable and what condition it is in. However we are looking to work with other Rotary Clubs who have experience in the field of Educare Centres as well as Rotary Clubs worldwide.  We would also look to the many corporates based in Century City to come on board with the project.


Our mission at paradise is to motivate, inspire, encourage and support the children of our community by accepting them and providing them a safe, secure and a loving environment to educate them socially, emotionally and cognitively so they can continue to build a foundation for a better life-long learning


Our vision is to empower each and every one of our children with proper educational knowledge and the ability to believe in themselves even when no one does. each child learns and develop in their own unique ways, so we help them reach their full potential in a friendly way taking advantage of all the appropriate modern lifestyle .

 4 Pluto Way, Joe Slovo Park, Cape Town, South Africa