HPCA Celebrates International Day for Persons with Disabilities

“Inclusion Matters: Access and empowerment of people of all abilities” was the theme for the International Day for Persons with Disabilities which was celebrated on the 3 December 2015 at Cape Town stadium, South Africa.

Disability Day, or the International Day of People with Disability, is a day that has been promoted by the United Nations since 1992. The aim of Disability Day is to encourage a better understanding of people affected by a disability, together with helping to make people more aware of the rights, dignity and welfare of disabled people, as well as raise awareness about the benefits of integrating disabled persons into every aspect of life, from economic, to political, to social and cultural. Disability Day is not concerned exclusively with either mental or physical disabilities, but rather encompasses all known disabilities, from Autism to Down Syndrome to Multiple Sclerosis.

The Hospice Palliative Care Association of South Africa (HPCA) together with the CaSIPO Project was privileged to be part of this celebration advocating the work they do and how it is linked to people living with disability, especially those who cannot access care and support.Petra Burger, (HPCA’s Disability Project Coordinator) and Sheryl Wust (HPCA’s Project Coordinator) were amongst the guest who attended.

MANCO Member of the City of Cape Town Social Development and Early Childhood Development, Suzette Little welcomed everyone and introduced the new Livelyhood Schemes Project with the aim of empowering people with disability to become entrepreneurs.This project which will be coordinated by vulnerable groups programme will allow participants to acquire a broad knowledge and skills to start their own community based business.

For the new financial year, the directorate has allocated 1.7 million to this disability sector with the aim of reaching 2000 people.Training will focus on arts & crafts, shoe repairs, wheelchair and bicycle repairs. Following the 10 day training session, successful candidates will receive a starter business in a box kit which will also include mentoring. Improving the lives of people living with disability continues to be a top priority for the City of Cape Town. In the last project, 19 out of 40 candidates received permanent employment.

The event was a huge success with so many talents performed by various disability sectors which included ballroom dancing,singing and the national anthem done in sign language to mention a few.These performances will be shared this week as well as some interviews!