Social Development celebrates Disability Month in Orange Farm

The community of Orange Farm celebrates Disability Rights Awareness Month

Disability in many communities in South Africa is often misunderstood and parents of children with disabilities are often unaware of the support and services they can get so that their children can be integrated and live normal lives.

In communities like Orange Farm; some children do not attend school because of a lack of understanding and support for parents with children with disabilities.

Currently, South Africa cannot completely account for its children with disabilities which is also the reason Government through the Department of Social Development is advocating for universal access to Early Childhood Development. According to the 2011 Census, 5,8 % of children between the ages of 5 and 18 years have a disability.

It was for some of these reasons that a group of parents with children with disabilities in Orange Farm established the Sidinga Uthando Parent Group to support each other, to educate their community and to assist Government in its efforts to realise the rights of children with disabilities.

One of their monthly activities of the support group is the Paint-it-Purple Days (PiP); which they use to mobilise their community to paint the house of a member in a purple. The aim of this initiative is to make their children with disabilities visible; educate their community and create a caring and supportive society by instilling a sense of unity among parents of children with disabilities.

As part of the annual Disability Rights Awareness Month (DRAM) which is led by the Department of Social Development between November 03 and December 03, Deputy Minister Hendrietta Bogopane-Zulu will join members of Sidinga Uthando by painting new houses as a symbol that the painted houses have children with disabilities.

Fourteen houses have been painted so far in the area. This event takes place during second week of DRAM when the focus is mainly on women with disabilities and mothers of children with disabilities as well as their role in building sustainable neighbourhoods where no-one is left behind.

This will also serve as an honour for the commitment shown by the member parents for changing the lives of their children and to encourage the community of Orange Farm to continue with this important initiative.

Source: Government of South Africa.

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