We believe that meaningful participation in vocational activities leads to the economic empowerment of persons with disabilities and enables them to achieve a maximum level of independence and integration into the community.
Therefore, the goal of the Work and Employment programme is to support persons with disabilities to: develop their full work potential, enable them to enter the open labour market, become productive workers within a protective unit, develop their own entrepreneur unit, and/or become part of an activity and/or skills training group.
QUARTERLY VOCATIONAL TRAINING PROGRAM
All persons with disabilities reporting for work and employment related support and guidance are encouraged to first attend the Quarterly Vocational Program as facilitated by the responsible Social Worker. During this training opportunity, special attention is given to the further development of life- and vocational skills of the participants and further education is provided for the purpose of first time job seekers. The training is followed by a job shadowing opportunity at local businesses to provide the beneficiary with firsthand experience in the workplace.
A fully operational laundry was established in the year 2000 as part of the work & employment programme. It was started as a small laundry to accommodate persons with physical and intellectual disabilities, providing them with the opportunity to engage in a working environment, while at the same time supplementing their income. Since the start of the laundry, it has shown tremendous growth with the most significant extension of the facility in 2004 with the financial support from the National Lottery and Anglo American Chairman’s Fund. During the past 16 years, the laundry developed into a fully functional business enterprise.
Currently, 33 persons with various disabilities receives a monthly profit share from services rendered in the laundry. Manual and industrial ironing, washing and drying services are rendered to the public as well as on contract.
Concerning numbers of persons with disabilities report to the offices of Breede Valley APD when searching for employment, as they are not able to secure employment in the open labour market due to their disability. According to an Environmental Affairs and Tourism media statement issued in 2007, South Africa has set a national target of reducing the amount of waste going to landfills by 70% in 2022, and to minimize and treat the remaining 30%. Therefore, by initially implementing a recycling project in October 2010, two very important global issues were addressed: job creation for persons with disabilities and taking active measures to save our environment through Reducing, Reusing and Recycling.
After starting a Recycling Project in October 2010 to address these needs, the project was terminated in October 2020 based on the economic challenges the global recycling market experienced pre- and during the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting financial pressure of keeping up with operational expenses.
It was however evident that there was still a great need for waste management, involving the regular collection, transportation as well as processing and disposal or recycling and monitoring of different types of waste materials. Although these services can save a business a considerable amount of money, it can also prevent the environment from being harmed. With existing resources to our availability (vehicle, manpower), the conscious decision was made to rather provide services in the form of waste management and save on unnecessary operational costs (rent). In the process we’ll still be in the fortunate position to address the global issues of saving our environment and job creation for persons with disabilities.
Operating under the quirky name of “Knippie Liefde”, the Hospitality Project provides daily opportunity, guidance and training to 4 youth with disabilities in the hospitality industry.
Through the Hospitality skills development programme for youth with disabilities we strive to: prepare youth with disabilities for, and empowering them, to make the correct choices regarding their future; provide youth with disabilities with the support, services and opportunities they need for independent living and a better future; equip youth with disabilities for integration and mainstreaming into society; provide education and skills training; provide the opportunity for youth with disabilities to supplement their income; provide youth with disabilities the opportunity to engage in constructive activities; provide youth with disabilities with the opportunity to socialise with their peers. Knippie Liefde’s services include, but is not limited to: Catering for any event Platters Daily breakfast & lunch Baking solutions
The Arts & Crafts Youth Development group in Worcester, in partnership with the DoMore After partnering with the DoMore Foundation pre September 2020, our existing Arts & Crafts project started in all earns with preparations for an exciting new Woodwork Project. Before we knew it, the existing Arts & Crafts project, consisting of life- and skills training for youth with intellectual- and physical disabilities, had a brand new name to mark this exciting new venture and taking on immediate ownership of the project: YouthAbility! And how appropriate this new name has been ever since!
The existing facilitators received extensive training in woodwork skills and techniques (including Health & Safety aspects), woodworking with hand- and power tools, woodworking techniques, creative finishing of woodwork products and the quality control of wood work products. And then the real fun started with transferring the skills to the youth with disabilities. And were we amazed at their ABILITIES! We were stunned at how quickly the youth with disabilities adapted to the new project and especially at their eagerness to learn new skills – and how quickly they learned! To see the youth’s daily development in confidence and pride have been a great opportunity and privilege.