Impact Stories

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.

Casual Day: Impact on disability policy and legislation

Casual Day is a project that raises funds for services for persons with disabilities. The project is also involved in influencing the government’s policy and legislation framework around disability through its parent organization, the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa (NCPPDSA). Last year, the NCPPDSA contributed to the process of the development of the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. In addition, they participated in the review of the White Paper on Social Welfare Services.

“As we celebrate Youth Month in June, we are mindful of the fact that children with disabilities suffer more abuse and neglect than children in general. Our work takes us to communities where children live in really dire conditions, without any resources or recourse to the law. We have recently made recommendations on the programmatic inclusion of children with disabilities in government’s roll-out of the Isibindi community based child protection programme.”

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Casual Day brings joy to ‘our wheelies’

As National Child Protection Week kicks of today, Casual Day has more good news about the impact that the funds raised by the campaign are having in communities all over South Africa. Wheelchair swings and a round-about custom-designed for learners in wheelchairs were recently installed at the campus of Basizeni Special School in eMbalenhle, Evander, in Mpumalanga Province, bringing much joy and pleasure to the learners.

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Romano gets a new wheelchair

Imagine experiencing the joy of comfortable mobility for the first time in your life? Imagine being a person with severe cerebral palsy and being able to say goodbye to old broken chair held together by string? Romano Marthinus no longer needs to use his imagination: he has received a special wheelchair customised to support him.

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Their happy faces say it all!

Several young adults with cerebral palsy received grants from the National Association for Persons with Cerebral Palsy (NAPCP), using funding from Casual Day. NAPCP provides a national co-ordinating forum of all activities, for and on behalf of persons with cerebral palsy – and is a national beneficiary of Casual Day.

According to NAPCP chairperson Prof Faith Bischof, the organisation’s mission is to prevent the occurrence of cerebral palsy and to enable persons with cerebral palsy to attain their maximum level of independence and integration into the community. “NAPCP is grateful for funds it receives from Casual Day as they assist our organisation to provide grants to children and adults with cerebral palsy and provide incentives to our top affiliates who sell Casual Day stickers. Our affiliates sold 152 000 stickers last year, which amounts to R1.52 million.”

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Giving a Voice to the Voiceless

“Not only are children with disabilities more vulnerable to abuse, but they are also faced with some severe challenges to access justice in instances where they have been abused,” says Therina Wentzel, National Director of NCPPDSA.

“Many children with various types of disabilities experience great difficulties to give testimony in court and are even under more pressure to withstand the rigours of cross-examination. The inability of children to testify to the satisfaction of the courts means that their testimonies do not support the prosecution’s case with the result that the cases are thrown out of court or not-guilty verdicts are reached with the perpetrators walking free,”

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NCPPDSA: Wheelchairs for Africa

More than 100 children received the gift of mobility last year, thanks to funds raised through the Casual Day campaign.

The National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in SA (NCPPDSA) helped to change the lives of children from Limpopo to the Eastern Cape by securing and facilitating the donation of 80 wheelchairs for children with disabilities in special schools.

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ALMA SCHOOL: AIMING FOR A SPORTS FIELD IN 2016!

Alma School, a school for learners with disabilities in Pretoria, has been named as the top performer in last year’s Casual Day campaign in Gauteng, raising donations of R242 666. According to Zirke Bondesio, the school’s principal since 1985, severe intellectually disabled children are guided and assisted to reach their full potential and live with dignity. The school relies greatly on donations and sponsorships to ensure sustainability as many of parents of many learners are unable to pay school fees…

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Special education for Tshilidzini learners

Education is a major focus of many of Casual Day beneficiary organisations, not least Casual Day’s star performer Tshilidzini Special School (TSS) in Shayandima, Thoyohandou, an area outside Polokwane in one of South Africa’s poorest provinces, Limpopo. TSS has consistently raised more sticker donations than any other single participating grassroots organisation in the country over many years…

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Casual Day Merchandise made by Persons with Disabilities, APD Nelson Mandela Bay

The Casual Day project of the National Council of Persons with Physical Disabilities procured 15 000 golf shirts and Caps from APD, Nelson Mandela Bay. The golf shirts are designed, produced and screen printed by involving persons with disabilities according to their abilities in all aspects of production line. Watch video …

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