S H A R E
Langa KwaNobuhle Self-Help and Resource Exchange
Programmes Ithembalethu Youth
Support and Protective Workshop
This support centre and protective workshop
serves the most marginalized citizens -
youth with mental disabilities. It deserves
support, yet it operates under constant
The human spirit has prevailed and this
workshop has survived from 1991 to date.
It started of with 25 youth who were
discharged from MzamOmhle Special
School because they were over 21 years
old. From 1991 to 2005, Ithembalethu has
served over 150 disabled youth. Currently
it has 60 in its register.
This workshop serves mostly mentally
disabled youth and some with slight
physical impairment. The physical impairment limits their ability to learn skills that require use of their fine motor muscles.
The workshop has given them an opportunity to form friendships and gave them an outlet for enjoying social life in a save environment. They are involved in sports like soccer and athletics. Gospel and beauty shows are some of the activities that are organised for their entertainment and enjoyment.
Educational outings are the most enjoyed since for many of them, these are the only times they are ever taken out.
From inception in 1991, Ithembalethu Protective workshop has been a feeder workshop for MzamOmhle Special School. Normal schools have also referred slow learners for skills training.
We are now in the process of expanding our focus to be inclusive of unemployed youth. The challenge we are now facing is affordability for technically qualified staff that could provide credited skills training that would make the youth employable and be hired or create their own work/companies.
In preparation for this challenge, the SHARE board decided to recruit and utilize retired teachers and people with skills and are willing and able to transfer those skills. Most of our instructors specialise in beadwork, flower arrangement, sewing and baking and cooking.
As can been seen, the skills the staff posses are limited to handwork skills directed mostly to girls, yet the young men at Ithembalethu have tremendous potential to learn various skills if trained.
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