Naledi has a highly focused social responsibility fund, dedicated to quality education and workplace integration for young people living with serious intellectual disabilities. In South Africa’s less advantaged communities, unemployment for people aged 18 to 29 stands at around 60%, and any form of disability will generally leave one without future prospects. We sponsor our beneficiaries (usually two young people in any given year) to attend Unity College and The Living Link, both in Johannesburg. At these centres of excellence, our beneficiaries enter programmes that equip them for independence at home and work, and are provided with a supportive path into mainstream workplaces.
Two recent beneficiaries of the Naledi Education Fund are Tshepang Tshabalala, age 15 at time of writing, who is enrolled at Unity College; and Goodman Mntambo, in his early wenties, who is enrolled at The Living Link.
The following is quoted from one of Tshepang’s reports:
Tshepang has made progress in reading with comprehension, and in answering comprehension questions both contextual and inferential… Her attitude towards maths has suddenly changed from negative to positive. She did not like maths and was afraid of the subject but it has become her favourite. Her positive attitude has seen her make gains in the areas of multiplication and division, which were a really challenge to her… We had our annual Sports Day on Saturday and Tshepang received the Intermediate Field Events Trophy. We are so proud of her.
And the following is quoted from one of Goodman’s reports:
Goodman shows impressive patience with fellow students and has an easy-going approach when placed in groups with diverse capabilities. He occasionally struggles to express himself fluently in English but manages to share appropriate input and ideas in group discussions despite this challenge… During his [workplace integration] interview he made a very confident and good entry, with appropriate greetings. He sat well, and maintained good eye contact. His answers were clear and appropriate. I was impressed with his smart dress style. Just remember to say “Thank you” at the end. Well done. You have the ability to be professional.
Naledi founder Kjell Bismeyer created the Fund after experiencing personally how a life can be transformed through excellent training and interventions: Kjell’s daughter Keetah is also a person who lives with intellectual disability, and is a successful graduate of both Unity College and The Living Link.