Goal: R5,000.00 | Still Needed: R5,000.00 | Total Supporters So Far: 0 | Amount of People in Need: 28
Maria Mankoe’s childhood memories are all cloaked with the grey veil of disability – not her own, but her cousin’s. This cousin was different to Maria, and indeed to everyone around her, and was treated accordingly.
Maria took the empathy that this treatment elicited in her with her into adulthood and became a home-based caretaker. It was in the early 2000’s that disability made its way back onto her mind. While travelling from home to home in Ga Maja, her rural village, she became increasingly aware of the number of disabled people of all ages who were sitting home alone, misunderstood by their families and without any sort of stimulation.
She made up her mind soon enough: Ga Maja needed a facility dedicated to the care of the disabled.
Kabosadi Disability Centre was founded soon after in a rented room, with only Maria taking care of and teaching five disabled children.
Now, ten years later, the centre is situated in a large corrugated steel shack – donated by a businessman – with a team of six. Their 28 beneficiaries are divided into two groups: 6 to 18 years old, and those over 18. The former group is taught reading and writing, while the latter group keep themselves busy learning useful skills, such as sewing and gardening.
As a whole, they are treated with kindness and dignity, like the human beings they are.
All of Kabosadi’s beneficiaries live at home, which is one of the driving factors for the team’s yearly awareness campaign, which aims to teach and inform their community about the disabled individuals in their midst. Through their tireless work, the disabled residents of Ga Maja are understood and treated better than they ever were before.
The team receives no funding from the government and relies entirely on ‘donations’ from the families of their beneficiaries. Though the community is tight-knit and wants to help, there is a general shortage all around, and additional assistance is required.
Photographer: Mosa Mailula from Abelife Designs & Productions | Voice Artist: Prince Ntsodo | Writer: Anè Breytenbach