BENEFICIARIES APPRECIATE WORK AND SUPPORT OF THE NATIONAL DEVELOPMENT AGENCY

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Minister Zulu testing the equipment supported by the National Development Agency. Photos by: Precious Mupenzi

Visually impaired individuals and those with low and reduced vision received a commendation for their resilience and determination as beneficiaries of the Cape Town Society for the Blind. Supported by the National Development Agency (NDA), this organisation has equipped its members with essential skills and state-of-the-art equipment, enhancing their quality of life and fostering independence.

Among the beneficiaries, Ms Roeshda Panday shared her transformative journey after losing her vision in 2020 due to a brain tumour affecting her optic nerve. Despite the initial challenges, Panday found solace and support at the Low Vision Clinic, where she excelled in courses and eventually became a receptionist. Reflecting on her experience, Panday expressed gratitude for the opportunity to contribute to the community and encouraged others to embrace the available resources for personal and professional growth.

“As a single mother, it was difficult to adjust to my new life, but survival mode kicked in, so I started reading up on blindness and discovered this society that gave support to people like me. It was here, at the Low Vision Clinic, that I found a community of people who gave me support and care as I learned how to live with my condition,” said Panday.

Another beneficiary, Mr Sergil January, demonstrated remarkable resilience after losing his eyesight in 2006 due to a traumatic incident. January’s journey led him to join the Cape Town Society for the Blind in 2009, where he completed a computer course and later became an Awareness Officer. Through outreach programmes and media engagements, January advocates for awareness and empowerment, inspiring others to pursue their dreams despite visual impairment.

“I am responsible for creating awareness and advocacy for this amazing organisation that continues to change lives, and in the process, I have grown so much and can confidently say that this is my space, and these are my people,” said January.

Addressing the gathering, Minister of Social Development, Ms Lindiwe Zulu, commended the dedication and determination of the beneficiaries. Encouraging the new class of students, Minister Zulu emphasised the importance of seizing opportunities for learning and personal development. She highlighted the invaluable support provided by organisations like the Cape Town Society for the Blind in empowering individuals to overcome challenges and achieve their aspirations.

“Nothing must stop you from achieving your dreams. Take the skills you learn and use it to improve your lives. This programme offered the Cape Town Society for the Blind is a great opportunity, and I want to urge you to give it your best,” said Minister Zulu.

Supported by the NDA, the Cape Town Society for the Blind plays a crucial role in assisting individuals with visual impairments, offering essential services such as Low Vision Assessment and Treatment Clinic. The organisation’s commitment to providing state-of-the-art equipment and skills training reflects its dedication to promoting independence and societal integration for visually impaired individuals.

As preparations for the State of the Nation Address (SoNA) by President Cyril Ramaphosa continue, Minister Zulu’s visit to the Cape Town Society for the Blind serves as a testament to the government’s commitment to inclusivity and empowerment. Tomorrow, Minister Zulu will engage in further outreach activities, focusing on critical issues such as teenage pregnancy, as part of the pre-SoNA initiatives.

Date: Tuesday, 06 February 2024
Time: 08h00
Venue: 52 Ibali Street, Mbekweni, Paarl, Ihlumelo Junior Secondary School

Media can RSVPs by contacting Ms Sharlene Naiker on 082 673 5849 / SharleneN@dsd.gov.za or Ms Nomfundo Xulu- Lentsoane on 066 480 6845 / NomfundoLe@dsd.gov.za.

ISSUED BY THE NATIONAL DEPARTMENT OF SOCIAL DEVELOPMENT
Media enquiries may be forwarded to Ms Lumka Oliphant on 0834848067 or lumkao@dsd.gov.za

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