By Nematei Agreement and Madonsela Siyathemba
Makhanda’s National Council of Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) started the build-up to the annual Casual Day, which will be held on 1 September, when their mascot, Able, with various members of the organisation, took to fundraising efforts at Church Square from 23 August 2023.
The campaign also seeks to raise awareness about people living with disabilities, their challenges, and their potential.
Secretary and physical therapist Fiona Semple said, “The non-governmental organisation was established in the early 1980s. Initially, it was named Criple Care and later changed from the Society for the Blind and Physical Disabilities to the Association for Persons with Disabilities. For the vitality of the association, it requires volunteers and social workers.”
NCPD client Meqvy Dramats said, “The organisation helped me with the wheelchair, which Clinics like Settlers were failing to provide, and it was able to help those who need help by providing special equipment for blind and deaf people”.
Dramat added that he does not feel disabled because he can do daily activities, including cleaning his house and cooking for himself. It would be greatly appreciated if people could help them have sports events where they can play volleyball, wheelchair racing and table tennis to distress and have fun.
The social worker at the organisation, Frances Mwape, has been with the organisation for more than ten years, and they always try their best to help persons with disabilities every day to restore hope to the hopeless. “Some of our people are not born with their condition, and it becomes difficult for them to accept their situation; therefore, it’s our duty to listen to their challenges and thoughts to provide counsel,” said Mwape.
She added that there are challenges that they encounter as members of the association while trying to assist persons living with disabilities. These challenges include inadequate provision of resources and transport that is in good condition. She said That they need all the support they can get through donations and volunteer work.
NCPD volunteer and activist for those living with disabilities, Nomathamsanqa Florence Mafani, adopted a 5-year-old child who was neglected. After adopting her son, she became part of the organisation, also receiving support from social workers.
“I don’t want disabled children to be locked indoors; two children went to school through the organisation, and speech therapy enabled them to speak,” said Mafani.
The campaign encourages people to volunteer and make donations. People can buy their colourful merchandise, such as stickers, for only R20. For further information about the association, you can contact the Association of Persons with Physical Disabilities on Facebook: www.CasualDaySA.co.za. or visit their offices near Settlers Clinic.