Restoring Khululwa’s hearing

A hearing aid has made all the difference

Can you imagine being in school and not being able to hear the teacher? This was a daily reality for Khululwa Takana – very frustrating and demoralising.

She was really struggling academically, and her teachers were becoming very frustrated with her.

They thought she was being naughty and disruptive in class, but the problem was much more serious than that. At the end of each school year, Khululwa would receive a poor progress report, and on many occasions, she had to repeat the grade.

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Ovayo gets moving

A RAP good news story

Ovayo is just three years old and lives with her grandmother and five cousins, as her mother passed away when she was a baby. She has cerebral palsy and is a patient at the rehabilitation department at Zithulele Hospital.
Masixole Namate is a Community Disability Worker (CDW) from the Rural Ability Programme (RAP) in her area. When he first met Ovayo, she was developmentally behind, was ‘bum-shuffling’ around at home, and not able to pull herself up. Although she’s unable to communicate verbally, Masixole has helped her to find a way to communicate her needs with her family.

Another good news story from RAP

Gideon gets to enjoy the sunshine

Mr Gideon Cezula is 93 years old and was confined to his bed because his daughter was unable to move him and he didn’t have access to a wheelchair. He really missed being able to go outside in the fresh air and feel the sun on his face.
Nosakhiwo Blayi, one of the  RAP Community Disability Workers in the area helped the family to apply for a wheelchair. This has made a huge difference to Gideon and his daughter, because when he was confined to his bed, he was just waiting to die. Now he has more mobility and can do one of his favourite things, which is to sit outdoors enjoying the sunshine.
In rural areas, being confined to your bed, can be socially inhibiting as most socialising happens outdoors. Gideon wouldn’t have been able to visit his neighbours and friends. Having a wheelchair he is now able to socialise and doesn’t feel so alienated and cut off from his community.

Kuhle is ready to take on the world

Kuhle gets help for her club feet

Kuhle is a gorgeous little girl, aged 4, who lives in a rural area of the Eastern Cape. She was born with a condition called clubfoot.

Clubfoot (or talipes equinovarus) is a general term used to describe a range of unusual positions of the foot.  Most types of clubfoot are present at birth and are referred to as being congenital. It may present in either one or both feet. In almost half of affected children, both feet are involved and this is the case with Kuhle.

Clubfoot is painless for young babies, but it can eventually cause discomfort and cause noticeable disability. Left untreated, clubfoot does not straighten itself out. The foot will remain twisted out of shape, and the affected leg (in the case of only one leg being affected) may be shorter and smaller than the other. These symptoms become more obvious and more of a problem as the child grows, including finding shoes that fit and being able to participate in normal play.

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Challenging invisible disabilities

The right medication makes all the difference
Malusi Mahobe (39) has mental and physical disabilities. Before the Rural Ability Programme’s Tabisa Hlalendlini started working with him and his family, Malusi spent most of his time walking around in the community and his behaviour made some members of the community uncomfortable . With Tabisa’s help, he is now on regular medication and life is much better.

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Kwakhanya getting the help he needs

Kwakhanya learning to talk and sit

Kwakhanya Tshidi was just a few months old when Vuyiswa Mgudlwa, a Community Disability Worker (CDW) from the Rural Ability Programme (RAP) visited his house for the first time. Doctors had warned his mother, Nondilile, that he may have complications due to his difficult birth, but these were never fully explained to her until Vuyiswa came to see her and Kwakhanya in their home.
Kwakhanya was struggling to talk, play and sit. After assessing him and talking to his mother, Vuyiswa referred him for occupational therapy at the nearby clinic and also to a speech and language therapist.
Since that visit and after spending time working on the recommended therapies, he is happy and really doing well. He able to say a few words, sit on his own and play with the other children in his home.
The family is extremely thankful to Vuyiswa for her help and for referring their child to the occupational therapists, because they did not understand that he has a disability and that with the right treatment, he could be helped.

Nomthandazo gets a new lease on life

Another good news story from CBM South Africa

Nomthandazo Ngqeleni (57) from Lutubeni in the Eastern Cape, had been receiving a daily injection for mental illness since she was 16. This medication affected her ability to function on a day-to-day basis because she was always tired and slept most of the day.
Nosakhiwo Blayi, a Community Disability Worker (CDW), met Nomthandazo at the end of last year and after speaking to both her and her sister about the history of her illness, it sounded more like she had an intellectual disability, as she showed no signs of a psychiatric condition.
The problem started when Nomthandazo failed academically at school and she wasn’t able to count or understand money. She had also never shown any aggression towards her family. The CDW referred Nomthandazo to the doctor at the clinic for a review of her medical history and medication. After reviewing her case, the doctor agreed that Nomthandazo should stop taking the medication. Today, Nomthandazo has a new lease on life and is happy and active – no more sleeping away the whole day.

Meet Shannon Morgan

10 Minutes with Shannon Morgan the RAP Programme Co-ordinator

Shannon holding a child from the RAP programme
Shannon Morgan joined the Rural Ability Programme as Programme Co-ordinator in February 2014.
Shannon is a qualified Occupational Therapist with a passion for community-based rehabilitation. She is not a new face in the Zithulele community, having spent five years working at Zithulele Hospital and helping to develop rehabilitation services in the area.
She left in 2013 to spend a year working for the Cerebral Palsy Association in Port Elizabeth, before returning to Zithulele to play a leadership role in the implementation of the Rural Ability Programme (RAP).

Liyema gets the support he needs

Hope for Liyema

Liyema (4) is a little boy, with cerebral palsy (CP), who lives in Dlovu Village in the Eastern Cape with his mom, Aphiwe, and his grandmother Ntombizine. His grandmother looks after him most of the time, as his mother is still at school. Liyema made contact with the Rural Ability Programme (RAP) because his grandmother attended a presentation that RAP’s Community Disability Worker (CDW) Nosiphiwe hosted at the clinic about developmental delay and CP. Ntombizione had the opportunity to speak to Nosiphiwe (CDW) and a home visit was arranged with Shannon, RAP’s Project Coordinator.
In the beginning, the family had little understanding what CP was and that Liyema actually has the capacity to do most things, like other children, but that he may just have to do them a bit differently.

Noluthando finding hope

Noluthando getting her independence back

Noluthando was working in Cape Town when she had a stroke, and had to return to the Eastern Cape because she was unable to continue working.
Nosakhiwo, one of the Rural Ability Programme’s (RAP) Community Disability Workers (CDW) found Noluthando at home, where she was feeling quite hopeless. She was not accessing any rehabilitation services and depended on the relatives she was living with to cook her food and fetch her water. She also had a temporary Disability Grant that was about to expire.