On 18th July, Mandela Day, the CPS team in South Africa spent the day at an inclusive development centre for disabled children, Rekopane. During the day, the CPS team painted and decorated a classroom and a sick bay where the children spend 90% of their time. They donated toys and books, office supplies as well as various items from the orphanage wish list. The team also spent time talking with the staff and playing games, face painting and colouring in with the children.
One boy in particular, aged 4, who had lost his father, and whose mother goes out to work every day, was overjoyed and could not wipe the smile off his face all day. When the new classroom was revealed he didn’t want to leave, as he feared the room would return to its previous condition if he did. The updated facilities, toys and time given by the team meant so much to the children and the staff at Rekopane, giving them a brighter, cleaner and safer environment.
CPS will continue to support Rekopane by paying for their Nappy collection.
Rekopane cares for children with various disabilities. The centre looks after 25 children aged between 6 and 15, who are unable to attend a normal disability school. Rekopane provides them with schooling facilities, accommodation and health care.
Mandela Day was established following a request from Nelson Mandela that each South African citizen dedicates 67 minutes of their time to help the community on 18th July, Mandela’s birthday. The 67 minutes represents the 67 years Mandela spent fighting for social justice.
Rekopane, meaning “We are together” commenced in 2008 after acknowledging an enormous need for children with disabilities finding placements in schools or crèches, development centre from an early age. The South African Convention on the Rights of the Child, ratified by South African Government in (1995), states that, "a mentally or physically disabled child should enjoy a full and decent life, in conditions which ensure dignity, promote self-reliance and facilitate the child's active participation in the community" (Article 23:1).” This need led to the birth of Rekopane, whose main goal is to provide the highest quality care and support to children with various types of disabilities especially those with severe and profound disabilities. These children include toddlers, pre-scholars and older children.
Rekopane offers a safe haven, warm, loving and secure environment to the children with a body of highly qualified professionals who diligently care for holistic needs of the children to nurture and develop their growth and functionality. We therefore, pride ourselves in the progress achieved by children with severe disabilities in our centre as they ultimately gain self-independence in various activities of their daily lives. Furthermore, the other children who have integrated and graduated to other LSEN (Learners with special educational needs) schools and are now productive members of the society.
The centre is furthermore, committed to the empowerment of parents in the area of disability and training of staff with information to equip them on how to provide the best care to the children. Rekopane is made of 7 board members, staff and parents who play respective equal roles in the overall running and decision making of the centre. Qualified Social workers, Home based care givers, therapists; volunteers are among professionals that provide holistic care and support to our children.