‘Masibambane’ community engagement project wins award
Last week the Masibambane project for children with disabilities was announced as the Best Early Child Develpment Training and Intervention Programme at an award ceremony in Johannesburg. The project was shortlisted as a provincial finalist from over 4500 Early Childhood Development applicants for the South African Early Childhood Development Awards. These awards are given by ABSA in association with the Department of Social Development, Department of Basic Education, UNICEF, South African Congress of ECD and NDA. Selection for this award involved a visit by the provincial adjudication team at the end of last year.
The Masibambane community engagement project is co-ordinated jointly by Agata Runowicz from the Department of Health and the Association for People with Disabilities, and Dr Lisa Saville Young from the Psychology Department. The project involves psychology students ‘adopting a child’ with disabilities whom they visit once a week during term time. The psychology students receive training on working with children with disabilities and are supervised by social workers, occupational therapists, speech therapists and/or a psychologist so as to implement a suitable intervention for the child which might include appropriate stimulation, the development of communication and independence, the development of self esteem and/or increased family involvement. The award includes R60 000 to be spent on studies, training and/or minor improvements or equipment directly related to the project.