Good evening all
I would like to welcome and acknowledge all our members, their families, friends of the Association, members of the Executive Committee, staff, volunteers and representatives of all the organisations who have generously donated to the Association over the years.
There are no words to describe 2020. I came across a description of 2020 that resonated with me. It says:
2020 is a unique Leap Year:
it had 29 days in February,
300 days in March,
5 years in April
and 10 years in May.
And the year is still not over.
There has been and continues to be a lot of uncertainty regarding every aspect of our lives. All we can do is pray that 2021 is a much better year and it treats us better.
I wish to express my gratitude to all the members and their family and for their continued support. This has not been an easy year. Your fortitude and your resilience in these uncertain times is acknowledged and appreciated.
I wish to also express gratitude to all the staff and the members of the Executive Committee for their continued dedication to the organisation.
As always, the effects of the economic downturn and the effects of 2020 are an ongoing challenge. Lesley and all the staff at the centres have worked tirelessly in order to ensure that the centres and the office are operational. When the members return, we hope that all will be ready, and all Covid-19 protocols will be observed to reduce any risk to our members.
Despite the difficult year that we have been experiencing, I’d like to highlight of our achievements from April 2019 – March 2020:
- In April 2019, the Easter egg hunt was held for CWAC, with much fun and laughter.
- 2nd year UKZN physiotherapy students attended to CWAC members in partial fulfilment of the practical component of their Neurology module. This was done under clinical supervision from Lecturers and tutors. We wish for this relationship to continue as it is beneficial for our members.
- Mandela Day was celebrated with ‘Otto Bros Distributors’ providing snacks, goodie bags and a social party. We thank them for their generous donation.
- ‘Focus Air’ provided 4 of our CWAC members with a flight in an aeroplane in July 2019. It was very exciting for our members as it was their first time.
- A Fun Day was held at Lahee Park to raise awareness and to raise funds.
- The annual Golf Day was held on 22nd September 2019. It was hosted by Shafters Golf club and R75 000 was raised. We thank all those who were involved for their generous donation.
- At the end of September 2019, Mrs. Ina Borstlap retired after being with the Association for 28 years. We thank her for her many years with the Association.
- We sold our property at 17 Mariannridge Drive, from which we had operated for over 20 years. We bought and moved into the new premises at 23 Sanderson Road. This resulted in a profit from the sale. We have invested this money and we are receiving a great annual interest rate, as well as cutting down on operational costs.
- In November 2019, we held a gala event for our members who attend water therapy with Dolphinatics Swimming Academy. The ‘Big Splash’ gala was a great success, with parents attending and witnessing their children’s swimming milestones themselves.
- We received a brand new washing machine as a donation to the Association. This has greatly assisted with laundry.
- The Robin Hood Foundation held a Christmas Fun Day at Reunion special school, where all the learners were treated to pizza, ice cream and toys.
- We had a wonderful Valentine’s Day picnic in our new garden with our staff and we treated all the members to snacks, music, dancing, and fun.
- The Guardians held a Valentine’s Day Dance as an external fundraiser for the Association, where R50 000.00 was raised and received. We thank them for their generous donation.
- We launched a brand new, simpler website with easy ways to donate, learn about disabilities and information about the Association. I encourage you to visit the website and to share the link with family and with friends.
With all the wonderful achievements, there have also been challenges in 2020:
- The Covid-19 Pandemic has had a significant and adverse effect on everyone, including the Association. Donations have drastically dropped and we have had to close CWAC indefinitely. The office-based staff continue to work tirelessly, most often remotely, to ensure that the Association continues to receive donations. It is worth noting that every month, we receive sad news of other donor-based organisations closing their doors due to lack of funding. The PMB CPA closed its doors permanently at the end of 2018 due to lack of funding. I commend our office-based staff for continuing to find sources of funding for our members in these challenging times.
- One of our CWAC members, Lindos Shange unfortunately passed away while the Centre has been closed. Lindos has been a member since 2017 and was a wonderful member of the CWAC family with his easy smile and good nature. He was loved by all and he will be sorely missed.
Once again, I would like to thank ALL our donors, volunteers as well as our dedicated staff led by Lesley.
To all those who give to our Association, all your help is much appreciated and helps in alleviating difficulties that are experienced by people affected by Cerebral Palsy.
The year ahead will be challenging. However, I am confident that we will get through it with commitment and fortitude.
Thabsile Sishi (Chairperson)