A few weeks ago I came across this infographic from the National Council of Persons With Disabilities which I shared on my private Facebook profile.
The stripping away of the rights of people with disabilities is a lived reality. Whether they experience one or two of the denials or all ten, or more; it is a human rights violation and it is EVERYONE’S job to put an end to it.
So I was pleasantly surprised when two old friends who read that post asked what they could do to make a difference in South Africa to children with disabilities. My answer was simple: listen to people with disabilities instead of deciding for this community what they need. People with disabilities can help us to understand better than anyone what will be the most helpful supports for them. A few days later I was sent information about a joint project by The Solomon Academy and Bishop Bavin School (Bedfordview, South Africa). The Bishop Bavin School Pilot Project aims to educate and accommodate six learners with physical disabilities from sub-optimal backgrounds into Grade six at the school this year.
The learner’s educational plan will be individually designed to accelerate their skill set by ensuring the learners have the necessary technology as well as individual tutoring and medical aid. This project believes that every child deserves the best chance of gaining entrance to university. Furthermore, they aim to increase that number to twelve in 2019.
Now that’s doing something to put the power back in the hands of these learners. This is presuming competence and having faith with works.
The Solomon Academy is also running the Wheelchair Basketball Training Centre Rollout project at the school. Learners will acquire the skills needed to play and compete but the project needs a building to house the court, accommodation for the learners at the school, equipment and more. The aim is to house 40 children in the school by 2020 who will be part of this project. For international funders, this is a great opportunity to get involved in uplifting South African learners from previously disadvantaged backgrounds as well as aiding in furthering the policy of Inclusive Education. A capital prospectus is available for review for this project on request.
If you are like my two friends who want to make a difference, a REAL difference; then please speak to your places of employment about contributing towards a bursary or bursaries for the learners. Companies will qualify for B-BBEE points in either the Skills Development category of the new B-BBEE Scorecard or in the Socio-Economic Development category of the Scorecard. There other financial benefits for individuals such as tax rebates in terms Section 18 A of the South African Income Tax Act. Simply put you can get money back from the tax man when you donate.
It’s a win-win situation both for the learners, the school and for corporate and private South Africa. If you can’t contribute financially, there are other opportunities that will enrich your life even more than what you will do for a learner at the school, such as joining the volunteer program.
To help a child to get an education is the greatest gift you can give; especially when that child due to disability might otherwise be denied access to an education. Let’s stop throwing a pity party when we meet a person with a disability, and let us genuinely help to change the course of a persons life.
Have a chat with Andy Fraser or Quentin Robinson of The Solomon Academy to find out how you can help either with the Basketball initiative or with the learnership programme.
Andy Fraser 083 326 2928 or email email@example.com
Quentin Robinson 083 446 6411 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
or Donate to
Bank: S A Bank of Athens
Account number: 3000 000 4682
Branch code: 410506
Account Name: Bishop Bavin School
Reference: Solomon Academy