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.

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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