Centre alleviates suffering

2016-11-16 06:00
Members of the newly established Thuso Thuso Centre for Disabled Children in Ward 3 during their recent fun day at the Homelite Community Hall on Saturday, 05 November. Photos: Boipelo Mere

Members of the newly established Thuso Thuso Centre for Disabled Children in Ward 3 during their recent fun day at the Homelite Community Hall on Saturday, 05 November. Photos: Boipelo Mere

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Members of the Kimberley-based Thuso Thuso Centre for Disabled Children in Ward 3 firmly believe that there should not be any child suffering purely due to the fact that they are disabled in any way.

This non-profit organisation (NPO) was established and registered five months ago by parents of disabled children in Ward 3 and they hosted a fun day at the Homelite Community Hall on Saturday, 5 November.

The members took it upon themselves to establish this NPO with the mission to build a centre where they can accommodate children with special needs, and their parents, to gather under one roof and exchange their daily experiences and challenges they face.

Parents vowed not to allow low self-esteem to drive them into leaving their children inside the house and yard anymore, afraid of public criticism.

The parents said they battle with a lack of support from society, since their disabled children are not accepted at creches and schools.

They saw the need to come together to motivate each other to bravely face society and expose their children in public more often.

“We wish to have the confidence of being able to take our blessings (children) on public outings, to the mall, and everywhere without getting negative comments, strange stares and being felt sorry for by society,” said Cathy Perrimore, one of the co-founders of the NPO.

She added that they still suffer humiliation and abuse, especially from nurses at clinics, who accuse them of under-feeding their children.

“That is why most parents with disabled children avoid taking their children to clinics for regular check-ups.

“I mean, how will I, loving my child like I do, allow my child to starve to death? Our children are blessings to us, they brought light into our lives.

“Most of us are full-time caregivers due to the fact that we mostly do not trust other people to look after them. Most of the children tend to get seizures and we feel that requires special attention,” Perrimore said.

Pointing out that most of the children are either traumatised or brain damaged, Perrimore added that it is purely due to the unconditional love, care and dedication towards the children that most of them outlive the time that the doctors gave them.

It will be a blessing to them if their children can be accommodated and full-time staff can be hired for the centre they wish to build.

On the fun day, the children and their parents were spoiled with lunch and goodies. The parents were thanked and acknowledged for the support and the dedication that they put into looking after their children.

The event was graced by the presence of Ward 3 councillor Clifford Lewis, who was referred to as “the patron and father of our community” by the parents.

The aim for the centre is also to boost job creation within the community, as parents and residents will be able to get training and accredited certificates as care-givers.

Perrimore said the need for centres for disabled children is still far from being put in the spotlight. The few centres in the province is not addressing everyone due to the cost and distance.

Many parents of disabled children are from poor backgrounds and can not afford to send them to centres.

“Our short term goal is not to be 100% dependant on grants, funding and sponsorships, but to be sustainable through regular fund-raising initiatives once it is up and running.”

Assistance is hereby requested to support the initiative of getting the centre up and running.

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