Kwazulu Natal Branch Report

Within the process of transformation, Cheshire Homes KwaZulu Natal services are being progressively directed towards the concept of Inclusive Disability Development.  My presentation today will reflect on outcome based achievements of our programmes.

Our major thrust is on Inclusive Education through Early Childhood Development (ECD).  Adult skills training for economic empowerment and the provision of independent living facilities contribute towards the alleviation of the overriding issues of poverty and social inequalities endured by persons with disabilities.


Community Based Programmes for Children

All children should have access to Early Childhood Development (ECD) as this is the foundation for building young adults who will become tomorrow’s adults and leaders.

In addition to residential accommodation for children with profound disabilities, we deliver the following community based programmes for child development:

  • Educare Day Clinic
  • Prevention, Early Identification and Intervention Programme
  • Qhakaza Cheshire Early Learning Centre
  • Staff and parenting training
  • Awareness raising through Inclusive Education workshops
Outcome Based Report

KwaZulu Natal’s children’s programmes have been very successful in achieving specific objectives towards Inclusive Education and Mainstreaming.

  • Educare Day Clinics cater for children with profound disabilities
    • 8 learners were placed at Special Schools
    • 1 learner, who was admitted to SCDIFA Cheshire Homes at the age of two years, with multiple disabilities, is currently at the Fairhaven Primary School and is now in Grade 7 at this mainstream school
  • Early Identification and Intervention is conducted at two Primary Health Clinics serving local impoverished communities.  This programme was started 12 years ago.
  • The After School Programme is an offshoot of the Intervention Programme.  Mainstream schools refer their students who are unable to cope with class work.  After short term intervention they return to school with more positive performance ability.
  • Qhakaza Cheshire Early Learning Centre. We identified problems experienced by Adults and Children through a needs assessment survey conducted in the under-resourced, impoverished community of Lusaka Informal Settlement.  In consultation with the community, local faith based organisations and a local Councillor, it was agreed that the first priority was the setting up of an Early Childhood Development (ECD) site.  This was started three years ago.  Children 4-6 years of age are being prepared for admission to Grade 1 at a mainstream school.  This year there are 55 children in the programme.  We are grateful to the Dawnridge Primary School which accepts 25 children each year into mainstream education.  This inclusive approach provides a model where disabled and abled children learn on equal terms.
  • Workshops for Inclusive Education took place at several mainstream schools where educators requested training.  Similar workshops were also held for NGOs engaged in ECD programmes.  There is a need for similar workshops to be held at other schools.
Residential Services for Adults

We provide care and rehabilitation for persons with disabilities with a view to their subsequently achieving integrated living in the community.  For their development a full rehabilitation and skills training programme, based on an Individualised Development Plan (IDP), is drawn up.  Progress is reviewed annually.

Following full rehabilitation, this year, two further residents moved into the Independent Living Cottages and one returned to his family.

Hopefully those living in the Independent Living Cottages will move into the community when accessible housing is made available by the Department of Housing.


Challenges and Finance

Despite the current state of our economy, we have survived and maintained service standards

  • Lack of human and financial support are the biggest drawbacks.  Fundraising is a major problem and it is becoming increasingly difficult.
  • The subsidy for residential adult facilities, from the Department of Social Development, covers only 50% per capita cost.
  • The Department of Health subsidy for children meets only 45% per capita expense.
  • None of our community based rehabilitation programmes are subsidised by Government at any level.
  • There is not even funding available for professional rehabilitation – neither staff nor a full time social worker.
  • For effective service delivery there is a great need for partnerships to develop between service providers and Government at all levels.


We greatly need volunteer support.  The local community support has been very helpful both for children and adults.  We are grateful to our regular volunteers.



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