At the heart of the Val de Vie Foundation is a profound commitment to making dreams come true for those who often go unseen and unheard. One such dream is creating an inclusive society where people with disabilities are valued and treated as equal citizens. As a beneficiary of the Val de Vie Foundation, the Drakenstein Association for People with Disabilities (DAPD) ensures that this dream is being brought to life.

DAPD began with a simple yet powerful mission: to provide social welfare services to disabled individuals. Recognising a greater need, they expanded their reach. In 2021, the Milani Daycare Centre opened in Paarl East, offering a safe haven for children with disabilities. Then, in 2022, they launched an Adult Daycare Centre to provide a nurturing environment for adults with disabilities.

These centres are more than just facilities; they are lifelines. In underprivileged communities, parents often lack the resources and education to adequately care for their disabled children. The Milani Daycare Centre steps in, offering support and care that transforms lives. Similarly, the adult daycare centre provides a safe space where adults with disabilities can thrive while their caregivers work, ensuring their families’ livelihoods.

DAPD’s impact extends beyond care. Their skills development program, in collaboration with companies like Satchwell and Chempack, teaches practical skills, giving clients a sense of purpose and belonging. These programs empower individuals, building their confidence and integrating them into society.

Maizylle Pienaar, CEO of DAPD, shared a poignant insight: “What makes the biggest impact for them is to be part of a program, just to interact and see someone who looks like them.” This sense of community is invaluable, breaking the isolation that many people with disabilities experience.

Yet, challenges remain. Stigma and lack of awareness about disabilities persist. Social workers Jaycee Martin and Bianca Mckriel noted, “South Africa is quite behind in awareness of persons living with disabilities.” It is our collective responsibility to educate society, break down these stigmas, and recognise the equality and worth of every individual, regardless of their circumstances.

The Val de Vie Foundation is honoured to support DAPD in this vital work. It’s not just about funding; it’s about infusing hope and fostering sustainable change. Together, we are creating a brighter future where everyone is valued and included.

Join us in raising awareness, offering support, and celebrating the heroes in our communities, like the dedicated team at DAPD. Thank you, DAPD, for your unwavering commitment to change. It is a privilege to partner with you on this selfless and transformative journey.