By: Cindy Van Zyl
Published: Monday, 20th June 2016
It amazes me how fast time has gone by. Just one year ago I received news that set my life’s path in a new direction; I was chosen from 5700 applicants to be a part of the VODACOM CHANGE THE WORLD CHALLENGE.
I’m still here at Spoudazo-Beudene doing what I love, working with Autistic learners, following my passion, doing the Lords bidding here on earth as He leads me to. So what influence did VODACOM CTW have here?
Being accepted into the VODACOM CHANGE THE WORLD CHALLENGE there was no way of working here at Spoudazo-Beudene full-time, as I needed to keep another job for the sake of earning enough money monthly. Then VODACOM equipped us with not only a monthly salary but also R 120 000 to use for the growth of our project. We were the seed and the soil and Vodacom was the fertiliser and the fresh water we needed to sprout a seedling.
I no longer had to divide my focus between two jobs and was able to place all my efforts into one initiative; which allowed the project to flourish into a wonderful functional program. Developing a successful project does not only cost effort but also costs financial support.
When we first started this program we had a few borrowed and broken educational toys, no therapeutic materials, no office equipment, one swing set, a guest room as working space, parents were unfamiliar with a support system, I could never afford to attend valuable workshops, the work environment was extremely hot, we were in dire need of a new way of finding support and less privileged learners were not familiar with computing skills. Now, thanks to the funding provided by VODACOM CTW we have brand new and sufficient educational resources, the necessary office equipment, wonderful and much needed therapeutic equipment, a large trampoline, our own four walls to work within, a strong support system for parents, I can share skills obtained in workshops attended, our environments temperature is more durable, we can spread awareness and gain support with a beautiful motivational video and we are in the process of creating a computing skills development program. We could not have been more blessed in the development of this project. The fact that the program is flowing well allows me more time to focus on the next level of our duty to the community, which is to assist in raising awareness of Autism Spectrum Disorder and in the training of all people involved in the lives of Autistic individuals.
Everyone here at Spoudazo-Beudene, especially the Autistic learners and I, are so grateful for VODACOM CTW’s support throughout the year and we will miss you all dearly during the year to come.