By: Cindy Van Zyl
Published: Thursday, 6th August 2015
Coming to Spoudazo-Beudene in my spare time has always been the highlight of my weeks in the past, how I wished that I could come more often and really become a part of this heart warming movement. My NPO felt the same way and we decided that we should lay down our vision to the ‘Vodacom Change the World challenge’ and pray that they see potential in us.
A while after applications closed, I was notified that we were on the short list, that day nothing could wipe the smile off my face, I was as happy as I could be, not realising that that glowing feeling of purpose and joy would be multiplied a short while into the future. What an emotional rollercoaster we all went on, I am sure the other 20 volunteers can testify to this. On the day of my interview I actually consumed half a cake all by myself just waiting for the phone call, not realising how kind and supportive Magda, the program manager, and the other interviewer would turn out to be.
The trip to Johannesburg had my NPO representative, Beulah van Aswegen, and I feeling like we were going to change the world, not on our own, but along with a team of amazing, selfless people that we were about to meet in just a few hours. Such a wonderful variety of human beings awaited us in Johannesburg. The selected candidates were of such a variety that it was clear what Vodacom is trying to do; they are trying to change the world through bringing together people from very different walks of life, connecting us at a crossroad, encouraging us to continue this journey as a team and grow stronger than we had ever imagined. With inspirational people like Michael Stevens and Stephanie Venter sharing their wisdom and successes with us, we were inspired beyond what our minds could comprehend.
Due to the generosity and vision of Vodacom which donates a lump sum toward our project as well as paying my monthly salary, I am now able to spend my days where my heart lays, fulltime, and bring our vision of integrated development for all people with disabilities, to life. From the first day as a fulltime member of Spoudazo-Beudene, I was welcomed and appreciated by staff and parents. We got straight to work. We got our Facebook pages merged and active and acquired help from a PR in order to advance our media coverage. We got the volunteers involved in helping the Autistic children to complete their new chores, individualised programs were focussed on and many are complete and functional, a routine for one-on-one educational therapy for the 13 Autistic candidates was established, I got to know the new learners joining my project and our new classroom is almost ready and we are all waiting in suspense to move in,