2002 Winner
Winners:
Mpumalanga Province, South Africa
2002
Publication:
Impumelelo Innovations Award Trust
Sponsored By:
Impumelelo Innovations Award Trust
Jurisdiction:
South Africa
The Home is situated in the Nhlazatshe No-6 Village, in the Eerstehoek District, Mpumalanga. It was initiated by the Mpumalanga Provincial Government as a way to address the problem of disabled persons in the area being left without care by relatives who are migrant labourers. The Home therefore provides accommodation, nursing care and rehabilitation for these destitute, disabled persons. Their objective is to enable these persons to live a life as near to normal as possible and to equip those to make choices about issues that concern their lives. The project puts a lot of emphasis on the family and the community as stakeholders in the project. Therefore, the rehabilitation process includes involving the family and teaching then how to cope with and take care of the disabled individual. In addition, a number of facilities that are essential for community development have been established. These include a Cerebral Palsy Children's Stimulation Centre; an adult literacy centre; support groups for the disabled; income generation groups; women's clubs and burial self-help groups. The Ilanga Pre-School has also been established and is the only pre-school in the area to enroll disabled children.

Innovation: The Home is the only organization in this, mostly rural, area to cater to the needs of the disabled. Cognizance is taken of the cultural diversity of the individuals treated at the Home and the issue of disability is dealt with in a holistic manner focusing on a range of socio-economic issues facing the disabled in rural areas. As a Community Based Rehabilitation Programme, emphasis is put on disability awareness and therefore a campaign is being hosted on a local radio station. The extensive Community Based Rehabilitation Programme is considered to be the Home's most innovative element.

Effectiveness: Prior to the initiation of the project, the community was not aware of the availability of Disability Grants and Child Dependent Grants or how to obtain them. Now most of the disabled persons of age receive their disability grants. The Adult literacy programme has a 60% pass rate in levels 1-3 in numeracy and languages and the project estimates that by 2001 it had reached 75% of its target beneficiaries.

Poverty Impact: Some of the disabled persons are already engaged in entrepreneurship, while 3 of the Home's 38 residents have found full-time employment there. The Administration Clerk is a disabled person and 100% of the staff have been identified as having no other source of income. The Cerebral Palsy centre accommodates 25 children and 6 of the 60 children at the Pre-School are disabled. The Home's vegetable garden produces fresh vegetables that are sold to the community and women are taught sewing skills, at the Adult Centre, that they can utilize in order to generate an income. The Adult Literacy programme addresses one of the main causes of poverty, thereby contributing to the upliftment of the people.

Sustainability: The project has registered as a non-profit organization in order to be eligible for a subsidy from the Department of Welfare. Despite, this funding not being regular, the sustainability of the project is reasonably assured.

Replication: The nature of the project is such that it can easily be replicated elsewhere. That said, the main constraint to replication is the availability of funding. It should be noted that the government is reluctant to erect new homes and more interested in Community Based Rehabilitation programmes where people can be rehabilitated in their own homes.