Unakho Centre for the Differently Abled
The objective of the Unakho Centre is to enable differently abled people to make a meaningful contribution to their community. Two strategies are employed in achieving this objective; firstly the Centre will provide care and developmental therapy to differently abled persons and secondly the community will be educated on living with and caring for differently abled people.
Prochorus became involved with the care of differently abled people via the Wheelchair Project. Following up on a possible donation offer for wheelchairs, Prochorus did an assessment of needs of differently abled persons in Kayamandi in 2008. Subsequently we received six wheelchairs from the Rotary and 20 from the Goodwill Community Foundation in the USA. These donations enabled us to provide wheelchairs to all who needed it in Kayamandi.
Once the wheelchairs were distributed, more needs became apparent and we expanded on assistance given to include crutches, sheepskin for wheelchairs, canes etc. As we engaged with the community we quickly realized that support in the form of these helpmeets is not sufficient. The adults and children that face the daily challenges of physical disability need therapy, stimulation and individual attention.
In dealing with these realities the Wheelchair Project took hands with the Disability Forum in Kayamandi to head up a centre for the disabled in Kayamandi. At this centre the wheelchair bound people can connect and take part in meaningful activities.
In response a crèche for differently abled children was started in 2009. Currently we have 12 children, all with different disabilities. Our teacher, Cynthia Memani, follows a special programme with each child.
We partnered with Senecio who drew up specialised programmes for each child. (www.senecio.org.za)
The Centre involves the families of the differently abled persons throughout the programmes to ensure that they learn how to support their loved-ones and care for them at home. We have seen tremendous improvements in the lives of all involved in the centre.