DRAKENSTEIN ASSOCIATION FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

DRAKENSTEIN ASSOCIATION FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES

Maizylle Pienaar, Xolisa Matwa, Mary-Jane Ntwanambi (left to right)

DRAKENSTEIN ASSOCIATION FOR PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES 

Drakenstein Association for Persons with Disabilities (DAPD) is a non-profit organisation that empowers individuals living with disabilities in vulnerable communities.

DAPD strives to establish a community in which people with disabilities are viewed as equal citizens, thus challenging societal norms.

An eye-opening testimony is that of Xolisa Matwa, a 31-year-old man living with a disability.

Xolisa was born in the Eastern Cape and has lived in the Western Cape for as long as he can remember. He learned about DAPD through his mom, who encouraged him to join.

Once he became a client of DAPD, Xolisa was exposed to practical tasks that included going to farms and assisting with recycling, packaging, and Delta traps, which he really enjoyed.

He joined Satchwell, a manufacturer of electric heating elements and controls with whom DAPD has built a strong relationship since 2017. Here, clients are exposed to practical experiences and employment opportunities.

Under the supervision of Mary-Jane Ntwanambi, an employee of Satchwell, Xolisa was taught how to add elements to components.

“When they come to Satchwell, they all start with me. Xolisa is a fast learner. When you teach him today, he will remember it tomorrow.” Mary-Jane said.

Xolisa recently moved to a different team and further expanded his skill set.

Maizylle Pienaar, manager at DAPD, said, “It’s great to have people in the community that take hands with us because, at the end of the day, DAPD’s hope is to get everyone with a disability a job, a future that they can look forward to.”

Without organisations like DAPD, individuals living with disabilities are discriminated against, especially in the workforce.

DAPD creates awareness, and through Xolisa’s testimony, it is clear that the organisation is effective and enabling social impact.

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