Casual Day helps rural schools for learners with disabilities to help themselves

South African schools for learners with disabilities face many challenges, including the ongoing need for funding for crucial but expensive specialist equipment such as hearing and walking aids and braille machines. Where city institutions may struggle, the difficulties are compounded for schools in rural areas. As a result, cashstrapped educational institutions for learners with disabilities rely greatly on fundraising. The Casual Day national campaign managed by the National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) has provided rural schools for children with disabilities in Limpopo with a working formula to raise funds for their operations and to buy the resources they need for their learners.

Schools such as Tshilidzini Special School for blind, deaf and physically disabled students, Helen Franz Special School for children with physical disabilities and Fulufhelo Special School are among those in the province to benefit from the initiative by selling Casual Day merchandise such as stickers (which allow participants to wear casual clothes to work on the first Friday in September), caps, tshirts and bucket hats. The schools are entitled to keep the profits made from sales. Tshilidzini Special School was the top performing school of 2016 in selling Casual Day merchandise. “We approach surrounding schools in our area and sell Casual Day merchandise to them,” said school coordinator Wilson Ligammba. “We sell to churches around our area and to local clinics and police stations. We also allow community members to sell on our behalf.” Helen Franz Special School and Fulufhelo Special School also rely heavily on their local.communities to assist them in their fundraising efforts.

Lufuno Mudau of Fulufhelo Special School said the school sold Casual Day merchandise to members of the local community, government departments such as the South African National Defence Force and to spaza shops. “At Helen Franz, we work with a number of surrounding schools for learners with and without disabilities to sell our Casual Day merchandise and make a profit,” said the school’s Korong Moabelo.

“There are few companies that have corporate social investment policies specifically for learners with disabilities and there are not many bursary schemes, so Casual Day is very important in South Africa’s disability sector because it helps to fill the gaps, said NCPD national director Therina Wentzel.

“We call on all schools to emulate the example of our three best fundraisers — let’s see who raises the most money this year.” Casual Day 2017 will be on Friday 1 September 2017. Casual Day merchandise is already available to be bought and sold around the country.

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Able online

Hi, I’m Able the Casual Day mascot and ambassador for disability. I encourage you to see the ABILITY in people and not the dis-ABILITY. We’re all able, we can all live our fullest lives if the barriers are removed. Join me each year, on the first Friday of September and raise funds to support organisations that render services in the field of disability. This year Casual Day falls on Friday, 7 September. Your donation of R10 for a sticker makes a difference and improves lives all across South Africa.

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