Challenges and Successes


The father of Genine van Wyk (a member of Ulwazi Project), donated his home to the project with the provision that he and Genine remain on the property. Genine’s mother passed away two years ago and she is an only child. He is already getting on in years and he wants to make sure that Genine is cared for. With one exception, all the members are wheelchair bound. This means extensive renovations such as widened corridors, access facilities, ramps and other modifications have to be done to the house.

The donation that Mr. van Wyk has made is awe-inspiring and we hope that the legacy he gives us will be the main-spring and impetus for all others to give generously as well. However, the upgrading and maintenance of a care centre is very expensive. The Centre serves clients who come primarily from disadvantaged areas and often from economic backgrounds where their families, even though they are involved in their activities, they cannot make any significant financial contributions. Fundraising is undertaken continuously but amounts raised are insufficient to guarantee the viability of the Ulwazi Project. Some form of sponsorship for specific clients will also be most useful.

The decorated pottery and fabric painted items are for sale at the Bellville Library. We would welcome your visits to see firsthand what is being achieved and hear from the beneficiaries themselves what their limitations and challenges are.


Our activities are labour intensive and sometimes require expensive materials or the adaptation and the purchase of certain equipment to assist our members perform their tasks and crafts. It can certainly be appreciated that the maintenance of such a project is very expensive.

Robin Koopman, assistant project leader, says:

“Without the project to keep them busy, many adults would be left alone at home to vegetate while parents and family members attended school or had to go to their places of employment. Even in institutions, because of lack of staff and other facilities and because of their mobility handicaps, they may be parked in front of the television set. That is no way to live.”

Another problem is that their parents who are looking after them are also aging. Their concern is for their disabled children who will be left behind.

At the moment the Ulwazi Project is generously accommodated at the Bellville Public Library. Because the library needs to cater for its core program, the project is constrained to meeting three days per week during the school term. A lot of productive time is therefore underutilized.

The group meets at the Bellville Library on Mondays, Tuesdays and Thursdays from 09h00 to 13h00.

Another constraint is the lack of storage space where their finished work can be displayed for sale on a daily basis. It is also limiting as there is inadequate space to store material, equipment and stock.

Because of the severity of their disability, everyone needs assistance in feeding, going to the bathroom and doing their daily tasks.

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- wendal 21Jan2012