SCDIFA - Khethelo's Story






Born on 29 July 1996, abandoned by his mum, he was left at a local Hospital and was subsequently placed in our care by a Social Worker.   He arrived here, at SCDIFA Cheshire Home, in a little crib at the tender age of 18 months very tiny and teary.  When he arrived he appeared to be very frightened and unsettled by his new surroundings.  This tiny little bundle became the favourite of all staff and volunteers.  He was showered with love and laughter and all his responses and development were met with a keen sense of pride by our very dedicated staff.  Khethela’s development clearly demonstrated that any child given love, care, and protection can thrive and he surely did.  After he had settled into our Home and was feeling a sense of being safe and loved, he showed great difficulty in walking, talking and eating.

He joined our Educare programme in August 1998 when he had already turned two.  He was taught how to eat independently, toilet trained and exposed to a range of early interventions to suit his capacity and circumstances.  He was quick on the uptake and was able to learn quickly.  He is an example of response to a comprehensive holistic integrated programme which provided educational stimulation.  

Concurrently he was referred to the local Hospital where he subsequently underwent surgery to correct his club foot and through physiotherapy, occupational therapy, speech therapy and orthopaedic intervention at an early and young age he recovered swiftly. With our Educare programme’s intervention he was now ready for mainstream school.   

Many schools in the area were approached to accept him but the Principals were reluctant to admit him citing that the Educators “may not be able to manage him in view of his disability”.  The Principal of Fairhaven Primary School, which is within close proximity to our Home, was very happy to receive him.  He was admitted to Grade R at his school in 2004.  The learners and the Educators at the school were prepared for the new learner through workshops that we conducted at the school for fear of his being sidelined by the education system.  He has thrived at the school and is now in Grade 6 a confident happy well rounded young child.

Now a new challenge awaits us as we seek to place Khethela in an environment where he can relate to other school going learners.  Our plan is to transfer him to a school which caters for children with disabilities with hostel facilities.  During school vacations he would come to “his home” at our SCDIFA Cheshire Home.





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