|The name Dasha Foundation is
the over-all name in which all business is conducted according to the
Constitution approved by the Department of Trade and Industry and the
Department of Health, Welfare and Social Services.
At present the Foundation has three Facilities:
1. Stimulation Centre for seriously Disabled Children
2. An educational School for Children who can receive teaching according
to their abilities
3. A Protective Workshop to which children from the school, and other
adults go, to receive skills training and produce saleable goods.
The School opened in 1995 with three children and one teacher. The numbers
soon doubled. It was named DASHA School by the founder-'Dasha' meaning
God's Gift. Due to accommodation difficulties the Centre and School
amalgamated in 2003 and our house was purchased at the current address.
The Centre began in 1993 under the name Lowveld Centre for Disabled
Children and catered for two children. The Workshop was started in 2004
with children who 'graduated' from school and others from outside who
were too old for school. We have recently purchased the house next door
as space has become a problem and a waiting list together with additional
services must be met. A longer term Development programme is in place
which would enable us to have larger grounds, and provide additional
facilities. The Foundation operates according to the Public School Calendar
Year; and is open from 08h00-13h00 Monday to Friday followed by an afternoon
care facility until 17h00.
Exercising and other activities are undertaken according to each child's
abilities. Regular visits by Occupational, Physio Therapists, and Oral
Hygienists take place. Interaction, and day-to-day skills are taught
and practiced, such as feeding themselves, drawing, music , qualified
instructors assist with swimming.
Regular school subjects are taught-reading,
writing, and arithmetic, with each child working at their own level,
in their own workbook. He/she follows a programme with specific goals
according to their individual ability. This enables them to receive
much individual attention. Basic relationships, outdoor activities and
skills are dealt with. Pottery and art work are favourites, as well
as the making of hand-made paper. Swimming and other sports are encouraged
with regular visits to gymnasiums. Several take part in galas and have
done very well. Some children do equestrian training regularly and this
improves their self image as well as posture and physical fitness.
Children are taught how to behave
in public as well as how to relate to one another and to others. We
teach through game and group interaction. Children are also expected
to fulfill certain duties in the kitchen and dining room. Washing and
drying of dishes, setting tables, making sandwiches and baking cookies
are life skills that need to be mastered.
Natural skills are developed such as knitting, sewing, bead and art
work. They are involved in papermaking, cards, fabric painting, candle-making,
needlework, and pottery. Good quality products are sold as opportunities
arise. Several outside jobs have been undertaken successfully which
bring in some finance.
Mornings begin with a time of devotion,
bible story, prayer and singing, with each child then moving on to their
particular sphere of work. Part of the timetable is also to assist with
cooking, washing of laundry and helping in the Centre.
* Music Therapy
* Music and Dance Groups
* Concert-participation, assisting with décor and costumes
* Gym-Weekly trips to Body Quest with trained Instructors
* Horse Riding and Equine Therapy done weekly
* Swimming (training by a qualified coach is offered if child has the
ability to achieve in this field)
Chimp Eden, Bird Rehabilitation Centre, Reptile Park, the Kruger National
Park, African Silk Farm, Tshukudu have been visited. These are arranged
by segments of the community or interested volunteers. A highlight in
2008 was for a small group who spent a week at Sodwana which included
a boat trip where dolphins were spotted; snorkeling in rock pools observing
underwater life and climbing sand dunes were the order of the day.
In spite of Fees being paid, and a subsidy from Department of Social
Services, running costs are not covered by these, so Fund Raising has
to take place and donations are solicited from businesses and individuals.
HOW YOU CAN HELP
*Sponsoring a particular child by providing a monthly amount for that
* Making monthly contribution to assist in covering general expenses
* Visiting the School and providing love and care for the children
* Volunteer of your time and assist with various activities, or teach
* Supporting the Development Fund so that the School can ultimately
have premises where 24 hour care can be provided
* Assisting in Fund Raising efforts
* Pray for the Children and Staff on a regular basis
* Assist by supplying much needed materials
* Are there any tasks in your company with which they can assist?