Spirits were high at Andile Msizi hall when residents, community leaders and dignitaries all gathered for the Umtha Wemfundo company’s official launch of their computer training programme last Friday, January 25.
The company provides free computer training to people living with disabilities for four months.
They also offer training to young people from the age of 18 and above at a low cost.
Delpot Maseti and Ntomoboxolo Stongo, who last year attended a computer training course at Whizz Centre in Site C, are the brains behind Umtha Wemfundo.
They said it was the harsh and sad reality that people living with disabilities are not empowered with the most critical skills.
The company wants to give them an opportunity and platform to hone their computer skills.
Director Mr Maseti said people living with disabilities need computer skills to boost their morale and chances of employment.
He said the fact that they were disabled should not make them feel useless and inferior to others.
He said the community should refrain from treating disabled people with pity and like they have no abilities and skills. Instead, he said, the disabled should be exposed to the same opportunities as everyone else.
The company also wants to make a difference in the lives of young people in Khayelitsha.
Mr Maseti said it was painful to see scores of youth standing on street corners outside shops and roaming the area with nothing to do.
He hopes the programme will help them to find work as most jobs need workers to be computer literate.
“You need to continuously empower yourself. The world that we live in requires people to be multi skilled. You must never stop learning because education has no age limit. We hope that we could make an everlasting impact,” he said.
Branch manager Ms Stongo said the company brings an inclusive approach to computer
training. She said for years people with disabilities have been sidelined while scores of young people who have not passed their matric often think it was the end of
the world and there is nothing that they could do with their lives. She said the main and focus of Umtha Wemfundo was to give hope.
Ms Stongo said gone are the days where people had to sit at home with nothing to do because such skills were only available at a high price or to few people. She said the good work being done in Khayelitsha should also be documented and not only the negative things.
“We want to empower our people. Khayelitsha is a place of greatness. Education is the only tool that can eradicate poverty. An indle mind is indeed a devil’s play ground,” she said.
Student Anele Komela, 23, said she chose to attend the programme because she wanted to empower herself and she hopes to find a job after the training.