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New centre for special needs children opened in Mbekweni

Good Hope Day Care Centre set to accommodate learners with different levels of special needs. Picture: Daniel Saaiman.

Good Hope Day Care Centre set to accommodate learners with different levels of special needs. Picture: Daniel Saaiman.

Published Jan 21, 2022

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Cape Town - The opening of a brand new Good Hope Day Care Centre (GHDCC) for more than 20 vulnerable children with special needs is set to give them an opportunity to reach their full potential in a new, bigger and better environment.

The centre was officially opened in Mbekweni, Paarl, by Valcare.

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According to GHDCC Centre Manager Xoliswa Mjezu, this was a dream come true since they didn’t have special needs centres in the entire Mbekweni for many years, with a population of 60 000 people.

“The children did not have enough space to develop properly, and it was heartbreaking to see. I could only accommodate a few children and had a long waiting list. Today, I am so happy that there is a proper building and structure in place to support more children, much better. We can only go forward from here,” she said.

The centre will also create a safe community hub where the GHDCC, Nompumelelo Educare Centre and Mbekweni Sports Centre will share resources like security, electricity and meals, a move that will save costs and create a culture of collaboration.

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CEO of Valcare Ivan Swartz said: “It is encouraging to see the collective effort in action. It was not just one person who funded this project, but multiple people who stepped up to help in their own way. GHDCC has the potential to make a real impact in the lives of the children in Mbekweni, and this new building is a step in the right direction.”

During the building of GHDCC, all the suppliers and service providers were sourced from the region, adding to the economic benefit of the locals.

Community Liaison for the project, Simon Makamba, said: ‘’We appreciate what has been done here, and we are proud that we now have this space for our children. What makes it even more special is the fact that members of our community were involved in the building process, which makes this centre a true part of Mbekweni and our responsibility to protect it.”

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The new GHDCC is equipped with features that make the space conducive for learning and playing for children with special needs

Executive Mayor of Drakenstein Municipality, Alderman Conrad Poole, said that he was impressed by this project and that it definitely deserves the support of everybody.

“These children are vulnerable, and they need all the love and care in the world. Thank you to everybody involved in this project – this definitely is a great example of ubuntu. It is not only the government’s duty to look after our children, but it is of critical importance that the private sector and non-governmental organisations work together to make the world a better place for them,” he said.

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The centre will accommodate learners with different levels of special needs, including cerebral palsy children with severe intellectual challenges, highly functional learners with learning challenges and autistic learners.

Weekend Argus

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