Life Journey: Disability in Rural South Africa 3rd Report
By Rendani Nthangeni - Project Leader
‘Disability only becomes a tragedy when society fails to provide the things needed to lead one’s daily life’. – Judith Heurmann
The beauty about the life journey programme is not only making Inclusion The Solution an actual reality for persons with disabilities, but it is also seeing persons with disabilities, rediscovering themselves, evolving and fired up to dream for the future while finding moments of joy and happiness in their everyday life. Through the life journey programme, we came to cross path with Lesego, a forever smiling and cheerful 24 year old young man. Due to reasons relating to his form of disability, Lesego had to quit school at an early age, he eventually registered at a community computer college because he has realised the impact that he has in his community and for his family. His mental health journey and fighting yet gentle spirit is one that made us pour our hearts out in support for him. The reality is mental health costs are too high in South Africa, as such, many young people find themselves in unfortunate situations in pursuit of “quick fix” coping mechanism. Fortunately for Lesego, through the funds raised on GlobalGiving he was afforded an opportunity to have access to a psychologist and psychiatrist that he’s been seeing over the past couple of months.
The pandemic has been terrible for everyone and we have had to learn to conduct and live our lives in a certain way. Everyone’s psychosocial needs were affected by endless lockdown restrictions, everyone had to find different but healthy coping mechanisms, and for Lesego it was volunteering to work at our 10mX30m vegetable green house tunnel in Soweto, Orlando East which was exclusively established for persons with disabilities to produce fresh vegetables to sell to the community. He has on so many occasions indicated to us his love for gardening, he volunteers 3x a week at the tunnel and he is an exceptional and well-loved sales person by the community. He has a way of showing his care for people and animals alike and his friendly demeanour is what we believe are his secret weapon of getting more people buying the freshly produced vegetables on the days he’s there than when he is not. This is Lesego’s life journey and we are happy to have been part of it in one form or the other, we can not do it on our own but through your continuous support and donation to Life Journey, for that we unreservedly thank you.
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