Hillcrest mom helps the deaf to hear

“I AM a woman who believes that I am more than strong enough to face this journey our Lord and Saviour has put me on. I am also a woman of strength with faith that it is in this journey I will become stronger and more focused.” These are the words of Upper Highway resident Sonel Steyn whose mission is to help those less fortunate.

Speaking to Fever Steyn said even at school she went out of her way to help people.

“I was an active member of the Agape group at high school spreading hope, love and care among our peers.

“I then studied to be a pre-school teacher and graduated in 2001. After which I taught for more than 15 years, however my heart was more into giving to the needy, so I became a Sunday school teacher and Evangelism Explosion III evangelist while teaching.”

Now involved in helping the deaf get hearing aids, her first encounter with disabled people was when she started working at Mr Wheelchair.

“The owner was wheelchair-bound because of an accident, but that didn’t stop him.”
So she went to running clubs and convinced them that disabled people are quite capable of joining and they don’t have an added advantage because the wheels are their legs.
“A few clubs made it happen and gave so many of my disabled friends the opportunity to participate with abled bodied people.”

In 2015 she was crowned Mrs Tshwane 2015 second princess and Mrs Tshwane Philanthropist 2015 and she touched lives wherever she went.

Now Westville Hearing Aid Labs secretary, Steyn has met new deaf people, both young and old, and has seen how they struggle.

“I want people to be aware that hearing is the gatekeeper to human communication - it is one of the primary ways in which we connect with people, and we all take it for granted.

“I became involved with Miss Deaf South Africa in 2016 although I had met Leviena Smit in Pretoria while participating in Mrs Tshwane pageant in 2015.
“I felt that KZN needed to be more aware of hearing disabilities and wanted to play a part in making this happen by raising funds to help children, born without this important sense, to get a cochlear implant.”

She said the joy of seeing a person’s reaction when they first hear sound, the happiness of a child when they hear their mother’s voice and their own voice for the first time, is unbelievable.

Steyn said Women’s Month needs to be celebrated every month as every female is important in everyday dealings. “It is a great idea to have a month dedicated to us as women – a month where we can be spoilt, but I believe that every woman needs to be treated everyday of every month because we – as woman – are the fundamental stones that keeps a family connected.

“I believe all people in KZN must strive towards helping others as kindness would bring the world much closer together.”

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