You walk into the Nomaxabiso Centre for Children with Special Needs and Inclusive Education in Phillippi, Cape Town and you’re greeted by colouful classrooms, children happily playing and smiling teachers. To learn more about the facility, their challenges and role within the community, FoodBank SA met with the centre’s Principal Nontuthuzelo Nozulwane.
Established in 1992, the centre cares for 141 children, many of whom are suffering from mental and neurological disorders. According to Nontuthuzelo, there is a stigma attached to disabled children and largely due to the community not understanding the nature of the conditions.
“Taking care of disabled children in our community is not easy and the main challenge is the lack of awareness among parents about the disabilities. Often parents can do nothing to help their child because they are not educated about the disability”, said Nontuthuzelo.
The centre provides a safe place for these children to learn and grow in and here they are properly cared for and understood. Parents are at ease while at work knowing that their children are in good hands.
One of the biggest challenges the school faced was the lack of adequate, wholesome and nutritious food for its learners. Nontuthuzelo learnt about FoodBank SA and immediately appealed for assistance. The money that the centre now saves on groceries allows them to buy more learning equipment for the children and to save money to eventually build more classrooms.
Thanks to FoodBank SA who facilitates partnerships with companies on behalf of their organisations, the centre is now also a beneficiary of the Nedbank Charity Golf Day held annually to raise funds for various causes across South Africa.