The Tumelo Home for the Disabled Children is close to the heart of Mr. Panyaza Lesufi, MEC for Education, Gauteng and after a successful fundraiser at the Lesufi Birthday Golf Challenge, a cheque of R350 000 was handed over to the Home from the Panyaza Lesufi Education Foundation.
The Tumelo Children Centre was established in Ivory Parky by Dr Moses and Mrs. Orianah Thindisa in 1996. It was named “Tumelo” as the word means faith, which is quite fitting considering the foundation upon which the Tumelo Centre was founded.. The Centre’s primary function is to care for children with physical and mental disabilities. They take in children who are mentally handicapped, orphaned, abused and any child that according to a court order needs special care or has been abandoned or brought in by the police. Mr. Thindisa acquired the vision for this Centre whilst working at his original practice. When children were brought to Thindisa’s practice he was able to gain insight into how the lives of the parents of these disabled kids were being adversely affected. He found that parents were unable to work as they had to look after their kids, so he decided that he was going to create a home that would accommodate and care for special needs children 24/7, throughout the year, whereby it would provide an opportunity to maximize whatever potential these kids had.
Currently the Centre cares for 60 children, as allowed by the government license, but they have plans to build a second home that will allow them to absorb the remaining 350 children on the waiting list for the Tumelo care Centre. The financial and educational aspects of the Centre are not where they need to be and the Centre is still highly dependent on benefactors and outside support. This is hindering the Centre’s aspirations to promote and provide full residential care and training to all children with severe and profound mental disabilities. There is still no form of structured or formal educational programmes in place for the kids except stimulation programmes, despite the need for special programmes that will empower the kids.
Gauteng MEC of Education Panyaza Lesufi has been revolutionary in introducing education reforms in Gauteng. He has remained hands on, vigilant, accessible, visible and passionate about moving education giant leaps forward. “I believe that it is not where you are born that should determine your destiny in life but its access to quality education that must shape your destiny in life.” MEC Panyaza Lesufi.
For information on how to partner with the Panyaza Lesufi Education Foundation contact:
Nonkululeko Ndlovu at email@example.com
Article written and researched by Alex Warren, media intern at UniMedia Pro