NPO helps employ disabled

WORKING THE LAND: From left, Elliot Mvuleni and Thembelani Sam standing in front of a small patch of their vegetable garden at Sophila Protective Workshop in Duncan Village. Picture: AMANDA NANO

Energy and a positive attitudes were on display as a group of disabled people from Sophila Protective Workshop in Duncan Village rolled up their sleeves to help improve their living conditions.

The non-profit organisation, founded in 2006 and registered in 2007, has 22 registered beneficiaries.

Sophila manager Penelope Magopeni said their goals were are to improve lives, restore dignity and provide skills development.

“We work as one, and I can say that this has changed our lives because we’ve taken it upon ourselves to do more as people,” Magopeni said.

The organisation, which was founded with just four people, at first and also serves as a market place for its their beneficiaries’ products.

Sadly, theft of equipment continues to be a challenge.

Skills taught by the NPO include sewing, shoe-repairs, beading, gardening and music.

On the gardening front, Elliot Mvuleni said they planted seedlings of spinach, turnips and cabbage.

“It’s a challenge because of the lack of fencing where some animals such as pigs come and eat everything.

“Luckily, the community buys from us,” Mvuleni said.

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Eric Baroyi, who suffers from partial blindness, said members could one can get a certification from Sophila after having completed gone through a four-month course.

Both the disabled and able-bodied are urged to make use of the project, The disabled are urged to part-take in this project, as well as the able-bodied, at nominal fee.

Musician Siphe Mditshane said his retinis pigmentosa had not hasn’t stopped him from playing instruments such as the keyboard and accordion, and also teaching music.

Although funded by the department of social development, the organisation is open to donations.

Interested parties can call 060-311-5200 or 073-629-4031, or visit the Sophila Protective Workshop Facebook page.

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