Promotion of mobility!
The Redeeming Hope for the Disabled provides mobility equipment to assist people with disabilities gain freedom of movement; to see the world around; to do many things by themselves; to appreciate the beauty of the nature and greatness of God. Many have even developed self-worth through realizing being part of a beautiful world outside.
Promoting mobility has always been the core programme of RHD. And the need of this service came, not only from the sad experience of meeting many disabled born, hidden and forgotten in their homes, but it also mainly comes from the fact that many service providers do not have Home Visits programs to connect with the challenges in the families of disabled people.
We have been trying our best the last two years to provide wheelchairs and crutches to those in a desperate need, unfortunately the need remain too huge. We seriously lack equipment and resources to help many. In 2015, we have only been able to assist with four wheelchairs and six pairs of crutches to some in Orange farm, Pretoria, Lenasia and Johannesburg.
Advocacy work with refugees living with disabilities
The advocacy to promote the rights of refugee in general is an important focus of the organization. We address the special needs of refugees and asylum seekers in the Gauteng Province. The organization is guided by the principle of respect for human dignity, non-discrimination, participation and integration. The project implements actions that prevent physical, mental, sexual or psycho-social harm or xenophobia. This is implemented throughout:
- Conducting awareness raising campaigns engaging communities (refugee and South African citizens) to create an open space where people are welcomed and treated the way they are despite their different backgrounds.
- Our different stories need to be told. People need to know why refugees are in South Africa today, what they faced on their journeys to this far and what they are facing on a daily basis in the country. Refugees also need to learn the story of South Africans. We need to meet heart to heart and get to sit together in that innocent place of compassion within all human beings.
- The organization also holds human rights education campaigns with refugees with disabilities.
- We promote access to documentation, education and health care.
- We provide social services and referrals.
RHD has a house in Lenasia which was donated by the City of Johannesburg since November 2011. The property is spacious and can accommodate approximately sixteen (16) to twenty (20) people at a time. The house provides temporary shelter. The beneficiaries are engaged in various re-education and empowerment programs (Vocational Skills Programs) helping them to do handworks and other expertise of arts. They become able to produce for themselves a minimum that can intervene in their daily needs.
This program promotes self-sufficiency and allows the disabled to socio-economicaly integrate themselves thus become contributors in the community development of the areas where they live.
We have just introduced a new program in the shelter after realizing the amount of support for people with disabilities on social networks. With three available computers we are launching basic computer skills program focusing on teaching our beneficiaries to use Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, … and connect with friends and other organized groups that provide advices and support. We just currently struggle to launch properly the project by lack of Internet Connection in the house.
The period of accommodation and training varies from two (2) to six (6) months. After they are trained, the beneficiaries leave the shelter.
It’s easy to do great work when you believe in what you do. That’s why we’re committed to helping more people every day.
RHD is led by persons with disabilities in the spirit of the United Nations Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (UNCRPD). We believe in “Nothing about us without us”. This is a way we have opted to challenge the past that did not understand the real need of people with disabilities. The past believed to serve by giving a fish to eat instead of teaching how to fish and become permanently free of hunger. As disabled, we believe in empowerment through education and skills development.
In 2011-2012, RHD worked with the City of Johannesburg and Ort South Africa to provide computer skills to 28 disabled and 6 members of our organization Management team in Johannesburg.
We keep promoting Skills Development because we believe that when people are empowered with necessary skills they are better prepared to take advantage of opportunities, they become agents of change, and they can more readily embrace their civic responsibilities and enjoy freedom.
We have connected to the need of the community and we believe this will be of great importance. It will profit many disabled to gain skills, to serve the community and earn a living.
With the assistance of United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees the organization launched a Sewing program in 2013 in Lenasia with 4 sewing machines. The program is moving to Orange Farm this 2016. Our hope is to find donations for ten more sewing machines and a mean to rent a hall for six months.
The organization has a vegetable garden that sustains lives in the shelter. The production is currently little because of lack of necessary garden tools and seeds. The plan is to produce more so that we can generate money through selling the extra products. The money will be spent in response to the day to day needs of the shelter.
The organization has been working in partnership with the Center for the Study of Violence and Reconciliation to provide counseling to victims of Traumatic life experiences and unfair Human Rights violation in the refugee community.
The current findings are that there is also a huge need of counseling, support to parents in an effort to promote positive environments for growth for children living with disabilities.
Our current efforts, as disabled leaders, are limited to visiting families of children with disabilities and share our stories of success for having families that supported us when we were growing up. If resources are available we need to get our stories told on radios and maybe holding educative campaigns with parents of disabled children to promote the value of their children and the importance of creating an early healthier environment.