“Bizweni Centre believes that every child, irrespective of their disability and circumstances, should have access to the right education and care. Bizweni Centre provides a safe, loving environment where a child with a disability has the opportunity to learn and develop to their fullest potential.”
-Bizweni Centre mission statement
When the pandemic started, Bizwenies' biggest concern was the well-being of the children. They made the decision to set up a food drive, using social media to reach potential donors. Between allocated food money from various funders, they have been able to support the children and their families.
They also started developing tangible and virtual home programs to support the children’s educational and therapeutic needs. The therapists and teachers create activity work packets that are simple and engaging for the families to do with their children. The packets are delivered along with the food and care parcels. These activity packets are virtually supported by using WhatsApp by sending videos, audio clips, pictures, and messages.
The Bizweni Centre is a Non-Profit Organization (NPO Reg No 175-297). Bizweni Centre serves as an Early Childhood Development (ECD) Centre for children with disabilities ranging from the ages of 2 to 18 years old.
The school caters to all types of disabilities, from the severely disabled who require assistance in all areas of life to the moderately disabled who need to prepare for mainstream schooling.
The majority of the children who come to the Centre are from underprivileged communities where no other outside assistance is available.
The first time Nina got in contact with the Bizweni Centre was in 2009 through a woman from Heldeberg Rotary Club in Somerset West. She later held a lecture there about brain damage for the staff and students. Since then, she has been volunteering there every time she's been in South Africa.
The center is run by Vicky Hinrichsen and her fantastic staff. They have helped the center evolve and grow over the many years Nina has been working with them.
The NBP Charitable Foundation has supported Bizweni Center since January 2017