We recently touched base with some of the parents to ask their feedback about their experience and observe where they are at. Whilst the process of being supported by Siyakwazi has helped lift some of the burden for these parents, Inclusion and the support of parents is by no means a linear process, and so how people experience things can change.
An exciting new research project has emerged through one of our funders and is something we will be working on over the course of the next 18 months. It’s brought about an exciting opportunity to work with Sue Phillpott who has been a long-time friend and supporter of Siyakwazi. Sue brought to light recently the following information through the Literature review, the Convention for the Rights of Persons with Disabilities reference to disability as an evolving concept, highlighting that “disability results from the interaction between persons with impairments and attitudinal and environmental barriers that hinder their full and effective participation in society on an equal basis with others”. Thus, disability is not defined as an attribute of a person, but as an interaction.
Highlighted below in these testimonies is just that, how interactions can positively support by breaking down barriers for children with disabilities and their families.
“It means so much to receive the support from Siyakwazi, it helps me to understand how to take care of my son and help to understand things about disability that I didn’t know at first. For example, how to make exercises (stretching) for him as well as his behaviour. I can now support him to roll over and lift his head. I see lot of development in him. It also means a lot because it helps me to deal with stress, and to get support and to have people whom I can talk with freely, but to be honest I am not healed enough.”
“Now I know things I didn’t know about my son before, such as how to handle him, how to talk to him nicely and not to shout at him. I used to say mean words to him like ‘YOU DOM’. Now I understand his situation better and it has changed my attitude towards him. I’ve learnt better ways of handling him, I trust him better; that he will go to play with other children and he will come back home afterwards.”
“There have been a lot of changes in my daughter’s life since being supported by Siyakwazi. The visits from the Siyasiza make her happy. The burden is low and to see other children more like her, to have support and knowledge is helpful. I realise I need professional counselling I have lot of things that bother me, and these things take up space in my mind.”
We thank our donors for the support that is given to our projects to make these stories and many more like it possible.