Vuk’uhambe and UCT form positive partnership

Vuk’uhambe Disabled Centre held a successful market day, thanks to a partnership with the University of Cape Town.

A partnership between Vuk’uhambe Disabled Centre in Gugulethu and the University of Cape Town’s occupational therapy department is bearing fruit.

Since 2018, the fourth-year UCT students have been visiting Vuk’uhambe to get an idea of the challenges the disabled face.

The students have been supporting the members as they take classes on how to save money and do hand work like sewing and making beaded products.

The results of this joint partnership are that students from UCT complete their community programme and maybe secure jobs in their industry and members of Vuk’uhambe saving more money from what they have learnt.

The deal seems to have yielded positive results with the partners hosting a market day at the Gugulethu mall last Thursday, September 30.

People lined up to view or buy the bead and other products that were displayed.

The aim of the market day was to get Vuk’uhambe to be able to sustain itself. The centre is also raising funds for a sewing machine.

Vuk’uhambe manager Thozi Ciki praised the partnership.

“Part of our activity with UCT is to learn how to handle money and how to start a small business for our people. This partnership with UCT has led us here today. We now have this market day because of them. They have given us jewellery, beads and other materials so that we can sell and make money. But we need to be able to keep that money to sustain ourselves,” he said.

Mr Ciki is adamant that they will soon be able to sustain themselves. He said the partnership with the institution is helpful. “We have learnt a lot and we continue learning. We are getting there,” he said.

The UCT clinical supervisor Melissa Francke has also lauded the partnership.

She said her students have been great and have benefited a lot from the what they have learnt from Vuk’uhambe.

“This is part of the community development that we are doing here. We support them with many other things and our students spend time with them on many occasions. But they have a bigger goal, to get a machine that will help them with sewing,” she told Vukani.

She added that it was good for their students to understand the intellect of physically disabled people. “Many people think that people with disabilities cannot do things on their own. It is also important for the entire community to understand that these are people like us all. They are able to do things on their own but we also have to help where we can”. she said

It was all smiles at the Gugulethu Mall during the market day. Here from left are Thozi Ciki, Melissa Francke and students Emihle Gqola and Lisa Mopp.