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Full steam ahead

Shannon Morgan meeting with headman Masiza Dudumayo - Ngwanguba Location
Shannon Morgan meeting with headman Masiza Dudumayo - Ngwanguba Location

Relationship-building with community leaders is crucial to the success of the Rural Ability Programme.

Programme Co-ordinator, Shannon Morgan, is not wasting any time getting the Rural Ability Programme up and running.  In March she started the crucial relationship-building process in the five locations where the programme will be piloted; namely Luthubeni, Ngcwanguba, Wilo, Jalamba and Kotyana.  Meetings with chiefs, headmen, nurses, ward councillors and clinic committees have been extremely positive and support for the programme has been unanimous.  Adverts inviting applications for the position of Community Disability Workers were also posted at clinics and community venues in all of the pilot communities.

Creating opportunities where community members can provide input into the Rural Ability Programme is an ideal way to promote community involvement and ownership of the programme. To this end, a number of community discussion groups took place in March, including:

  • A focus group for teachers from a local school to discuss their experiences and frustrations in trying to include children with disabilities in the mainstream school environment.
  • A focus group for people living with spinal cord injury to discuss their personal experiences and challenges in the community setting and gain insight into their expectations of the role of the Community Disability Workers.
  • A focus group with the Zithulele Rehabilitation Department’s monthly depression group to engage with people currently accessing services and highlight what services or support they feel people living with depression could benefit from in their communities.


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