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

financial constraints.


The human spirit has prevailed and this

workshop has survived from 1991 to date.

It started of with 25 youth who were

discharged from Mzam’Omhle 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 Mzam’Omhle 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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