In this world of ours roaring with wars, baboon-killings and informal-dwellings being burnt down, life goes on with ordinary people. This is particularly true for the few, very few centres for adults and children with disabilities in the Overstrand.
Here in Hangklip Kleinmond there is one such centre for children who are physically and mentally challenged, operating at Mthimkhulu Village. It is government supported, but as everyone knows, funding from government doesn’t go very far. Yet this small centre bravely trudges on. And it runs at full capacity. They are limited in the numbers they are allowed to accept.
There is besides Camphill at Hermanus, two other centres known to me. One is a centre for adults run from premises at Hawston Secondary School and the other Anima.
At Anima, located in Sandbaai, they have created a safe environment for youngsters with physical and/or intellectual difficulties. There are three educators, one of whom is a newly appointed remedial teacher.
Comment from one parent: Our daughter is just blossoming and exceeding all our expectations at Anima! Charné, Johlene and Corné are amazing. …. I just want to add that the problem with the education system is that it assumes that school is there for small humans to gain knowledge. It is about much, much more than that. Education and schooling are about belonging. It is about having a purpose and meaning. It’s about having friends and being accepted.
My husband and I also have a daughter, Jana, who could not be accommodated in and ordinary school. She attended Anima for almost five years and was blissfully happy. She is an adult with the mental capacity of someone much younger, but her teachers and friends made Anima her special place. Then Covid joined humanity and we decided to rather keep her at home. And then, to add insult to injury, fuel prices have totally skyrocketed, which put transport to Sandbaai out of our reach. Ordinary parents with ordinary children suffer to cope, how much more parents with children who don’t fit into the “ordinary” mould.
The founder of Anima, Ronelle Groenewald, says the Centre still has openings for learners, should there be parents interested in having their children attend Anima. Her cell number is 082 452 1891.
Now Emma, an innovative and determined mother from Betty’s Bay, is doing her utmost to organise transport for children such as ours. There are other children with similar problems who are also prevented from education and socialisation within their peer group because of untenable conditions regarding transport.
If there is someone reading this, who can see their way clear to help the project to acquire transport for these kids, feel free to contact her on 073 277 8978.