Disabled children in South Africa form 2.5 percent of the South African demographic and are therefore by law entitled a 2.5 stake in employment according to legislation. The sad thing about all of this is that these children, young ladies and young men are as proud of themselves as any other person and equally have the will to take care of themselves and others, but without the means or skills to be productive within the regular work environment, how could they possibly fill this quota.
These children grow up with a disadvantage in life which can be overcome provided the proper training and of course proper sponsorship. These two things seem almost silly to mention, the average child can use a PC by the age of 13 without training or funding and will take those vital skills on to their future work environment. Blind and disabled children find it hard enough to get around in South Africa, let alone be productive in the work environment, so find themselves being put on government grants which barely pay what the United Nations consider to be the poverty level – $1 a day (roughly R10). These grants, as low as they are end up costing the government a fortune in taxes. These costs are clearly justified, but when considering that these children would prefer to take care of themselves and obviously would prefer to earn more than the minimal R860 per month then there has to be a solution. So what is the solution?
Action for Blind and Disabled Children is a non profit organization which specializes in training these children on how to become productive, by way of computer training and encouragement. They use very technical voice activated systems which allow the kids to interact better with the computer, not to mention the fact that they train the blind children to use the computer keyboard – APPLAUSE. Imagine learning the keyboard without having ever seen it? Imagine getting to grips with the fact that you are manipulating words visually on your monitor, but without even being able to see it? To the average Joe this might seem intimidating but to these children they view it as an alternative to a life where they don’t have any choices for their future.
The systems used cost over R12 500 per student and then highly specialized tutors still need to be brought in to train the little guys. Each student costs Action R6000 a year to be trained in a Microsoft specialized package. This gives students a in depth education on many of the most productive programs available, from Excel to Word and Powerpoint.
With current economic times, the majority of these children’s sponsors have had to tighten their belts, leaving these poor little ones to struggle financially, ultimately leading to them being unable to complete their studies and in some cases they are having to postpone the children’s exams which ends up upsetting the children at this vital fork in their roads and often makes them feel abandoned by the previous sponsors.
For information on how to get involved or to set up a sponsorship of any amount, please follow the links alongside