WITH a deep and heavy heart, the staff of the Cerebral Palsy Association (CPA) announced they will be closing their doors at the end of January 2019 and will close their Stepping Stones School at the end of November. “This difficult decision has been looming for many years and we can no longer avoid it in the light of the challenging economic and donor climate,” said chairman Cosmas Ngubane. For the last 40 years, the CPA has raised awareness about cerebral palsy through various community outreach programmes and provided a place of care and education for 30 children each year at the Stepping Stones School. Since the announcement, the CPA has met with parents and caregivers and arranged for support meetings with the departments of Social Development and Education so that parents and caregivers are made aware of their options for their children for the future.“We are sad to announce that instead of celebrating our anniversary, we will be closing Stepping Stones School with effect from November 30, and closing the Association at the end of January 2019,” Ngubane said in the announcement.“This difficult decision has not been taken lightly. “We are grateful for the support of our donors-past and present. “We are grateful to our loyal and compassionate staff who have persevered with love for the children through very difficult times during the past few years. “We are grateful to the parents and caregivers who have entrusted their children to our care – we have tried very hard to keep Stepping Stones viable, but can no longer pretend that this is possible. “This is a very painful decision for both myself personally and as Chairman of this Association, and also for members of my Board of Management. I do hope that everyone will offer support as we face the difficult few months ahead,” said Ngubane.