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: https://www.sahrc.org.za)
- No educational policies implemented
- Very few people with disabilities have access to facilities
- Scholar transport for disabled is sorely lacking.
Friends Day Centre (“FDC”), situated in one of the most disadvantaged suburbs of Cape Town 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).
Our achievements so far:
- Donation of 6 wheelchairs (in partnership with RC Nunspeet of Netherlands, RC of Claremont, and our club)
- Acquisition and installation of a security gate for one of the classrooms (in partnership with FDC)
- Donation of blinds (in partnership with Regal Concepts)
- Painting of one bathroom (in partnership with RBM)
- Donation of stackable beds (our club)
- Revamping of Jacuzzi area (our club)
- Setting up a small water-wise garden (our club)
- Donations of blankets
Donating a much needed Air Conditioner
Orphanage and Educare
Paradesi is a safe home for the orphaned and a learning center for vulnerable children based in phoenix Township, Cape Town.
Paradesi is a registered non-profit as well as a public benefit organization. offering a well-grounded family life to the orphaned children in the Joe Slovo/Phoenix area and a comprehensive educational program developed by skilled professional teachers at a subsided fee, ages range from six months to fourteen years, a registered Grade R class preparing learners for primary school and an after school care program.
Children are dropped off at 06:00 am then picked up again between 17:00 and 18:00 pm. Paradesi provides two basic meals a day. The learners at after school care are supervised with their homework by teachers and volunteers.
Paradesi 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. When financially able the center offers full scholarships or discounts to the children who cannot afford the fees, however, Paradise is still relying on external funding and donations in order to cover monthly expenses (Food and Utility expenses). There are five paid staff members including one who lives on the premises with the live-in children.
The premises consist of four small rooms, with no shower in the facility for the live-in children, The only outdoor play area available for the children is the community playground which is about 100 meters outside the facility, this means that the children cannot all play together as they need to be closely supervised, when it is playtime each class has about half an hour to play in the playground after which they are brought back inside to give other classes a chance in the playground.
The Centre is composed of diverse children and while there are clearly significant benefits associated with diversity in education, the outcomes of educational success for students depend on how diversity is acknowledged in a classroom setting, and to promote a sense of belonging, creativity, and literacy children are thought in English which in turn makes them more comfortable with themselves and their peers, leading to a deeper sense of safety. Parents are encouraged to be involved in their children is educational development and they are a big part of the school’s extra activities.
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 to give the live-in children a dedicated living space, provide classrooms for the existing Grade R, and fulfill 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.
PARADESI STATED MISSION
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
PARADESI STATED VISION
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 develops 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
Rotary Club of Century City Cape Town provided the children of Paradesi Educare Centre with stackable preschool beds. The potential consequence of children sleeping on an unsupportive foam mattress is that their growing spine is placed under stress for prolonged periods of time. The adoption of pre-school stackable beds (see picture) will be a more sustainable solution, as they are:
- Suitable for 6 month - 7-Year old children (up to 50 kilograms);
- Hygienic (with a fire-retardant vinyl coated breathable mesh); and
- Safe, durable, and robust (with a solid epoxy coated frame and copolymer plastic corners).
We believe this project is the first step in addressing hygiene and the general welfare of the children at Paradesi.
One just has to look at these photos to see the incredible joy and happiness a Christmas party brings to these little ones. Expro hosts their annual toys for joy lunch where everyone donates a toy. Expro for the past several years has trusted Rotary to distribute these toys to children in need. The lunch was attended by several of our members who filled their cars with toys, later to be sorted into age and gender. A work party followed for the wrapping and labelling of the gifts.
At Paradesi which is our chosen creche we adopted, our charter president, Anthony Lawrence, despite the heat of the day put on his Father Christmas suit, and arrived with this little elf, this year our visiting German student, Jelena Mesarosch who has been one of our loyal volunteers in the time she spent in Cape Town. Each child’s name was called out to receive a gift and the chance to have a photo with Father Christmas. Our team of members and volunteers handed out slices of iced cake, popcorn, and juice to each child to enjoy. The party for the children of Paradesi is the highlight of their year, with parents and the children arriving dressed in their best outfits, many in traditional
At Saxonsea we partnered with Atlantic Beach Home Association who has just donated a fully equipped classroom at the school in Atlantis which is a community that faces alcohol and drug abuse on a daily basis. The remaining gifts were once again sorted into age and gender for the Christmas party at Saxonsea. Once again there were so many happy smiles and screams of joy when each child received their personal gifts. The children were spoilt with a light lunch, cooldrinks, and crisps.