Discovering new places with Ford.

(written by: Gabi Smith)

In the last two weeks of February, a trusty Ford Ranger became my new home as I drove over 3,700km in my work as an occupational therapist for Malamulele Onward.

Driving these distances isn’t a normal expectation when one trains as an OT, but what Malamulele Onward does for children with disabilities in rural areas isn’t quite the norm either.

Our ethos is that no village, home or child is ever too far away or too difficult for us to reach. Every child and their family have the right to an excellent CP service and we will ensure that they get it. Consequently, we are continually discovering new places that we never knew existed in the quest to discover more children and families who need our support.

As I drove to Nquthu in KZN, to Mkhuhlu in Mpumulanga and even as far as Vhembe in Northern Limpopo and many other places in between, I reflected on the work we have the privilege of doing and the wonderful people we are fortunate enough to call colleagues, supporters, partners and friends. Below is just a taste of the new places discovered and people met during this 3,700km adventure!

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Alwande’s grandmother cried and his mother screamed when we gave him his first ever buggy. Because of this, Alwande’s brother was able to take him outside so they could play together.

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Thanks to an Appropriate Paper Technology (APT) course at Malamulele Onward last year, Tumelo has discovered a new way to help the children with disabilities in his home-town, Lydenburg. By reusing common waste materials (old newspapers, cardboard and by making flour-based glue), Tumelo has started his own business making chairs for children with disabilities!

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As hard to believe as this is, we have discovered some places where even the mighty Ford Ranger could not conquer. Consequently, Vutomi had to conquer boulders with only his legs, before crossing this field to bring Saluleka her first ever chair (meanwhile Nkosikhona discovered a sneaky short-cut).

7I was thrilled to be Daniel’s first customer as he begins packaging and selling sweet potatoes to generate seed-money to begin his own APT workshop in Phadzima, Limpopo.

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Simangani is leading the charge in discovering and supporting new children in her home area of Nquthu. On her motorbike, she’s able to reach the many children who are too heavy for their mothers to carry to the taxi and go to hospital, or whose families can’t afford to pay the taxi fare. I was lucky enough to ride as passenger for a short time with Simangani, we shared the same feeling about riding a bike, but she expressed it better; “oh it feels soooo good, like you’re flying”.

We definitely do have a lot of fun on our adventures across the country, but we never lose sight of what’s most important. By working together (mothers, families, neighbours, Parent Facilitators, rural therapists, MO, our supporters and funding organisations and many others) we can make the greatest discovery of all – that one day every child with cerebral palsy in South Africa will be receiving excellent support and services throughout their entire life.

Malamulele Diary

Contact Us

SOUTH AFRICA:
Children's Memorial Institute
Gate 10
13 Joubert Street ext
Braamfontein
2193

Office Tel/Fax: (011) 484-9456

CANADA:
P.O. Box 308
Erin, Ontario
Canada
N0B 1T0

Banking Details

Name of acc holder: Malamulele Onward
Name of bank: ABSA
Branch: Sandton
Branch code: 632005
Acc No: 4068261682
Swift code: ABSA ZA JJ

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Malamulele Onward NPC | Company Registration No. 2006/032287/08 | Registered with the Department of Social Development as a Non-Profit Organization 056-807-NP0 | Public Benefit Organization 930025084

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