The Pre-vocational group project was started by Friends of Tembaletu in March 2014, and it has gone from strength to strength. It is designed to cater for residents of Sivuyile Residential Home who are young adults with intellectual disability. The stated goals are:
To improve self esteem
To develop appropriate social skills
To expand participation in task performance
The group uses activities that provide learning opportunities as well as enjoyable stimulation outside the wards where the residents live 24/7.
Our pre-vocational groups are run by a wonderful Occupational Therapist who has worked for many years at the residential care unit, and knows the young adults well. Each week she presents to the group a different theme, round which discussion, craft activities and educational games are played. The topics range widely. Some examples are: Seasons, Healthy Eating, Valentine's Day, Human Rights, Shapes, Caring for our World. Each participant builds up a portfolio of their own work. This gives them great satisfaction to look through and show their peers and staff at the unit.
The groups have been a great success, both individually for the participants and also for Sivuyile itself. The regular reports we receive from the OT attest to the growing achievement of all three of the goals set out. The participants are growing in self esteem, developing their social skills, and learning to participate in task performance.
Most importantly the groups are run with respect, expertise and love. The residents in the group are eager to attend and the participation and excited enjoyment of those taking part is witness to the group’s effectiveness. In addition the carers that assist our OT each week are rotated so that as many staff members as possible can learn the value of providing directed learning opportunities for people with intellectual disability. These carers in turn run smaller groups for the residents they are responsible for during the rest of the week.
We would like to expand this project so that more of the Sivuyile residents can attend. At the moment there are two groups a week, each catering for six people.
The Facility manager wrote to Friends of Tembaletu:
"Thank you for the wonderful work you do at Sivuyile. You really make a big contribution in improving the quality of life of our clients.... I really appreciate this relationship and don't know how we would continue with the quality of service without your valuable contribution."