Special needs centre shown some love

Bathandeni Special Needs Care Centre received much-needed attention and donations from volunteers from the community.

KwaThema – Miss Jozi Nompucuko Mangcaka called on friends and family to lend a hand at the Bathandeni Special Needs Centre for people with disabilities on Friday.

“We want to show them some love by cleaning, cooking and donating some clothes for the centre,” Mangcaka says.

Flora Kgomare, the centre’s founder, explains that most schools only cater to children with special needs up to a certain age.

“In most cases their parents have to leave their jobs to look after their children full-time.”

She says all the people who work at the centre are volunteers.

“We are a staff of six and we look after people of all ages.

“We do get sponsors for food mostly, but we are desperate for a facility.”

The property they run the centre from belongs to Ntombifuthi Zwane, who has allowed them to erect a temporary structure.

“We also do home visits and we have people who help us outside of this facility,” says Kgomare.

“They check on some of the beneficiaries, sometimes cooking and cleaning for them.”

Katlego Mkhonza, founder of Living Able, says she joined in on Friday to help people realise that anyone can live a full life, even with a physical disability.

“I know what it is like to have a disability, but we need to break the stigma that your life is over if you have a disability.”

The 26-year-old adds that their motto is ‘Changing inability to ability’.

“We all have something that we can do, and that is what we need to focus on.”

Katlego was nominated for the best promising young community builder at the Imbokodo Awards in 2014.

“It all starts within,” she says.

“Accept how you are, and look for the best in you, then you will change the world.”

Xoliswa Kali

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