Working together for children with cerebral palsy

DURBAN – The strength of Bud Chemicals and Minerals lies in enabling connections and getting it done. Which was clearly demonstrated when some of the Group and associated companies pulled together to assist the Reunion School for children with cerebral palsy (CP).

Situated in Durban, Reunion is the only school in the world where cerebral palsied children receive education and therapy in their mother tongue, Zulu, as well as in English.

According to the KwaZulu-Natal Cerebral Palsy Association, many educable children with CP in townships and rural areas are wasting away at home because their severe speech and physical problems exclude them from admission to ordinary schools.

With the existing Browns’ School at capacity, Reunion School was established in 1994 to cater for the children’s educational and therapeutic needs. Today there are 262 pupils, 160 of whom are accommodated in the hostel.

Because many of the children are wheelchair-bound, Ferro Coating Resins, Ferro Dispersions and NCS Resins pooled their resources and donated funds to assist with the tarring of the driveway, making it easier for them to access the various facilities on the premises.

These include a fully equipped therapy centre, life skills kitchen, computer centre, wheelchair-friendly playground, vegetable garden and new autistic unit. Under supervision, learners grow fresh produce and bake items which are used in the hostel or sold to the local community.

Funding from the companies also enabled the installation of awnings over significant portions of the building, so that pupils are able to enjoy the fresh air and outdoor activities during the heat of the KwaZulu-Natal summer and shelter from the rainy weather.

Once the building work was done, staff from the three companies visited the school to spend the morning with the children in their classrooms and see first-hand the areas and lives that had been improved through the companies’ support.

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