Anathi first success story

Setting up a gardening and poultry group

Anathi Jindela, RAP’s Livelihoods Coordinator, has shared the details of his first success story! It is a gardening and poultry group called Makukhanye (there must be light), and consists of 15 members ranging in age from 16 to 65 years.

When Anathi began working with the group, there were challenges with knowing how to set up a project and work as a team. They had also had minimal financial literacy, making it difficult to properly manage and sustain the project.

With his help, the group has now started a project with a group constitution, a committee, and a name. They were able to to raise funds and start an agricultural (gardening) and poultry project for household food security and income generation purposes.

Teaching Sange to communicate

Helping Sange to be a little more independant

Boy in wheelchair with chicken

Sange Mapeyi is a cute four-year-old little boy who has cerebral palsy. He lives with his grandmother in the rural village of Mngazi in the Eastern Cape.

When Nosakhiwo Blayi, his Community Disability Worker (CDW), first started seeing him in August 2014, he could just sit upright, and struggled to control his head movement. He also struggled to eat and was often ill.

Just two years down the road, Sange is ‘rolling’ on his own and can sit with less support. He is also eating better and coughing less.

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Ndikhokele goes to school

Ndikhokele is excited to be given the opportunity to learn

Ndikhokele Ngeleni was born with Spina Bifida and walks with crutches. He struggles with pressure sores on his feet because he has poor sensation in his feet and often can’t feel it when he hurts himself.
He was at a special school in 2015, but they neglected his pressure sores and they became extremely bad, so his grandmother took him out of the school and brought him back home again. Nosakhiwo Blayi, one of RAP’s community disability workers, spent time with him last year preparing for school: learning colours, counting and shapes at home.

Vuyiswa wanted to help people with disabilities

Vuyiswa grabbed the opportunity to help with disability

It is frustrating to watch a person with a disability and not know how to help – and it was this frustration that brought Vuyiswa Mgudlwa to the Rural Ability Programme (RAP) in 2014. Vuyiswa’s father has a disbility and is a wheelchair user, and when the opportunity arose to join RAP as a community disability worker (CDW) and learn how to help, she grabbed it!
She explains that although she finds the work enormously rewarding and takes pride in the difference she makes in people’s lives, it is sometimes difficult to educate them about disability, and the importance of including a family member with a disability into the household and community.

Buzeka changing situations for the better

Buzeka an empathetic and caring CDW

Being aware of the suffering of people with disabilities in rural communities has made Buzeka Nkanunu an empathetic and caring community disability worker (CDW).

She started working for the Rural Ability Programme (RAP) in May 2014, when the intervention was still in its infancy. Buzeka explains that she was saddened to see that people with disabilities were being treated differently in the community and set about changing the situation for the better.

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Tabisa making a difference

CDW Tabisa loves interacting with people

Tabisa Hlalendini has been a community disability worker (CDW) for two years and hails from Kotyana, a village in the Eastern Cape.

Like many of her fellow CDWs, she joined the Rural Ability Programme because a member of her family has a disability. In this case, it was her brother-in-law, and she is very proud that the skills she has learnt to help the people with disabilities also makes a difference in the lives of her loved ones. (Her brother-in-law weave grass mats and sells these to people in his community. She was quite proud of this when she took me to meet him)

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King is happy to hear again

King Nxakumfana

Black man sitting on chair

King Nxakumfana (76), who hails from Khawula village in the rural Eastern Cape, was first identified as someone in need of assistance by the community disability workers (CDWs) in June 2014.

He had experienced hearing loss that was affecting his ability to communicate with his family and friends, isolating him from his loved ones and community. Once he had been referred to the audiologist at Zithulele Hospital, and underwent a hearing test, it was found that he had significant hearing loss and was then fitted with a hearing aid.

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Zinhle’s success story

Zintle loves her standing frame

laughing little girl
Zintle Mfanekiso has cerebral palsy (CP), and was just four years old when Vuyiswa, the Community Disability Worker (CDW) in Ngcwanguba area, started seeing her in July 2014. Zintle was kept at home and was mostly carried around on her mother, Tabisa’s, back. She was unable to crawl or even sit on her own. She also had no equipment to assist her or give her any independence. She struggled to communicate with her family and they had no way of knowing if she understood what they were saying.
With Vuyiswa’s help, a lot has changed for Zintle. She is now able to respond to the people around her. The team also worked with the Zithulele hospital to provide a standing frame and a bench to assist her and give her some independence. She has grown to love her standing frame so much that she cries when she is taken out of it. From her picture, you can see how well she is doing; she is sitting on her own and even tries to stand up all by herself.

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Hope for Kwakhanya

A boy, a cat, and his mom

Kwakhanya Hlozwa was just two years old in late 2014 when Community Disability Worker (CDW), Vuyiswa Mgudlwa started seeing him.
He was struggling to sit and crawl and spent most of his time lying on the bed or on the mom’s back, doing nothing. His mom had a difficult birth that resulted in a premature birth and him having Cerebral Palsy. He is also visually impaired and his family did not know how to communicate with him. He wasn’t good with engaging with people, but loved to listen to music.
The biggest change since his CDW has been visiting is that he spends less time on his mom’s back and his mom has started using the equipment recommended by the RAP team, such as a bench. He doesn’t fall over anymore and he can now sit on the bench holding his cat, whom he loves, and listen to music.
The family are grateful for everything that Vuyiswa has helped them with, even the suggestion of collecting shiny pieces of paper to make toys for him to play with. He plays differently now. Before, he would just hold objects if they were placed in his hand. Now, he interacts happily, entertaining himself … and sometimes his family!
This short video shows just how far he has come. Kwakhanya is sitting on a bench while his mother calls to him to get his attention – as you can see, his faithful furry friend is right there, offering moral support and helping Kwakhanya to get the most out of life.
A boy, a cat, and his mom – proof that the Rural Ability Programme is changing lives in the Eastern Cape!

Mzolisi Mhlekazi recently enrolled in RAP

Man in wheelchair with his uncle
Mzolisi Mhlekazi recently enrolled in the Rural Ability Programme (RAP). He is 36 years’ old and recently became ill and is confined to a wheelchair.
Issues of accessibility in his community are HUGE and have a real impact on his right to dignity and accessible healthcare.
It is very difficult for Mzolisi to get the medical attention he needs. To get to his closest hospital means someone carrying him on their back through a forest; then a rope is attached to his wheelchair and he is pushed and pulled up the hill. This can take up to two hours and requires two people to assist him because unfortunately no taxis can get to his home because of the poor road conditions.

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