Epilepsy SA embarks on wellness initiative for the disabled

Epilepsy South African had a wellness and fitness programme at the Andile Mzisi Hall to encourage people with disabilities to stay healthy.

The old saying that disabled does not mean unable was repeated on Thursday August 2, at the Andile Msizi Hall in Site B, Khayelitsha, when Epilepsy South African conducted a wellness and fitness training programme to keep people with disabilities healthy and fit.

They were also urged to seek work from their closest NGOs and government.

Members from more than 10 clubs who attended the event were put through their paces, doing exercise and playing games.

Epilepsy SA social worker, Aviwe Ndyokolo, said they discovered that most disabled people sat at home and did nothing. He urged them to seek work, saying there were opportunities for disabled people.

“We also want them to live a healthy lifestyle. This programme is a start but it is here to stay. We urged them to stand up and find jobs. We have Injongo Yethu Disability Forum that we formed to help them for learnerships and jobs but they cannot rely on it only. We also call on other stakeholders to hire them. But we are also in talks with Western Cape government departments to help us in this regard,” said Mr Ndyokolo

He said the wellness programme will be held annually because they value the health of the people.

“We want to form a league where they will compete against each other. People should not think that because they are in wheelchairs they cannot compete sport-wise,” he told Vukani.

The programme appeared to have been well received. Teams were formed and people competed well. The day was commended by police and organisations working with seniors and disabled people.

Thembi Gecelo of Masibathande Senior Citizen in Action, who brought a team of seniors, said he was amazed by the unity shown by disabled people. She also encouraged them to keep fit and work hard for their welfare.

“Seeing seniors sing and dance was for me a bonus. But what struck me most is that these guys are working together. I am glad that they are having fun without even realising that the end result is fitness. This is positive for them and the community. I am glad they show eagerness to get fit and stay well,” she said.

Resident Zethu Mapukata commended the organisers for bringing disabled people together.

Ms Mapukata said her neighbour is disabled and fears going out because of the stigma attached to being disabled.

“I hope they will reach out to him too and see how other people are living. But I also feel as people we should fight the stigma and embrace our people,” she said.

Epilepsy SA said more activities will follow in Site B and other areas.