Soweto Cheshire Home, a safe haven for persons with disabilities

Department of Social Development 2022/06/12 - 22:00

​A disability refers to a physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, ability to communicate or ability to perform daily life activities. A disability can be moderate to severe, and can be the result of a traumatic event, a birth defect or a degenerative disease. Often times, people with disabilities need support so that they can live a good quality of life.

Unfortunately, some people with disabilities are not afforded good quality care due to inadequate support from their families and society, and some even experience abuse because of their disability. Residential Care Facilties can provide a space for people with disabilities to be cared for appropriately as they have the facilities and professionals that can cater to a person’s needs.

Weekly bulletin’s Nqobile Sibiya spoke to Tracy Ngobeni, a Social Worker based at the Soweto Cheshire Home. This home is based in Moroka, and is funded by the department as a residential care facility for adults with disabilities. The home currently accommodates 20 residents between the ages 18 to 55.

As a Social Worker, Tracey Ngobeni offers counselling services and referrals to relevant government departments and organisations for the residents at the facility. In addition to the accommodation and food offered to residents, the home has healthcare professionals that assist residents with their clinic visits, medication and physiotherapy.

Ngobeni explained that the residents usually come to the centre because of injuries at work or had a disease that led to a disability. While some people are able to pay for a person to take care of them in their homes, others cannot afford this service as their disability grant money is not enough. Moreover, a person with a disability might not have the necessary assistive devices or infrastructure needed for them to move around freely. As a result, people with disabilities are referred to the home.

To maintain the residents’ independence, the home provides transport to shops so that residents are still able to shop for themselves and socialise with people outside the home.

Residents are also taught certain skills such as knitting to keep them busy.

The home provides a safe space for people with disabilities, away from abuse and discrimination. Ngobeni said that the abuse of people with disabilities usually happens because care givers want to take the disabled person’s grant money and this person is not able to defend themselves.

She encouraged people report the abuse of persons with disabilities to the police station or to the nearest Social Development offices. She also urged the Department of Social Development to have more awareness campaigns that involve the experiences and needs of the disabled community.


Tags: People with Disabilities Residential care facilities


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