Fundukwazi’s mission is to strive to create a better world by fostering the acceptance and inclusion of all people living with disabilities. Currently there are 120 learners and only 6 staff members.
“We have two programs running concurrently. The first program is called Special Day Care and it takes children from the ages of 6 years to 18. The second program is called Protective Workshop and takes learners from the ages of 18 to 35. The skills training that we provide include wood work, sewing, gardening, baking and beadwork,” said Mandelakhe Makabela who is an Office Administrator.
“When a learner is admitted, he/she begins from a Rehabilitation Club then we assess the learner to see in which level we can place them. We have 3 levels. If the learner progresses from level 1 to level 3 and we notice that he/she has a learning potential, we secure a space for them with ABET; which is level 4. We have students who have progressed from level 4 to Buffalo City College,” Mandelakhe revealed.
Through the power of sport and learning, people with intellectual disabilities discover new strengths, abilities, skills and success. Fundukwazi children and youth find joy, confidence and fulfilment on the playing field and in communities they live. They also inspire people in their communities and elsewhere to open their hearts to a wider world of human talents and potential.
The power of transformation in sports is to instill confidence, improve health and inspire a sense of competition. From the detailed sports leadership guides Fundukwazi provides, the focus is on real sports, real competition and real achievements.
The power and joy of sport shifts focus to what Fundukwazi’s children and youth can do, not what they cannot do. Attention to disabilities fades away. Instead people see them as children and youth with talents and abilities and applaud them for all that they can do. They are doing a lot from skills to sports grounds.
However, Fundukwazi doesn’t have transport for learners. Mandelakhe said the only transport that the centre has is sponsored by Meals On Wheels. “We also do community service with that transport from Monday to Thursday we go to different satellites and cook for children,” said Mandelakhe.
“We appeal to the Department of Basic Education to help us. Our children are also learning, just like any other child at school. But we are not getting any support from government. We also need nutrition because we serve them two meals per day. We serve them porridge in the morning and another meal midday,” said Mandelakhe.
Most learners come from underprivileged backgrounds and can’t afford fees. Mandelakhe said the learners pay only R200 which can barely covers all their needs. Fundukwazi also faces security challenges as crime is rampant in the area. Criminals break in and take computers or any valuables donated to the centre.