Helping hand halts closing of daycare centre

A NELSON Mandela Bay daycare centre which caters for children with physical and intellectual disabilities has been given a threemonth reprieve through a R150000 donation from Aurora Hospital.

Owner Riel du Toit said Aurora Hospital had great empathy for the work the daycare centre, run by the Association of Persons with Physical Disabilities (APD), was doing in Motherwell.

"We work with the same kind of children but the only difference is that our kids are funded," Du Toit said. "They are doing a really good job at the Motherwell centre and we have helped them before.

"This is how a relationship has developed over time. We are in a very fortunate situation that we have patients who can pay. I was aware that there were problems at the daycare centre but I didn't realise that it was so desperate," he said.

"I would like to see that the money is used well. I hope my donation will lead to something that is more sustainable over time."

APD executive director Brian Bezuidenhout said yesterday it was a great relief that Du Toit had stepped in to help.

Daycare principal Karen Jakober said closing the centre would have been a devastating blow. "Most of the children have nowhere else to go. Five of them could be enrolled in a special school but we are still in the process of applying for them as they are very young.

"The other 20 had nowhere else to go. There is no other similar daycare in Motherwell."

Jakober said the reprieve would enable the centre to intensify efforts to look for more funders and companies wanting to come on board.

Bezuidenhout said the school brought in little income but had large expenses of about R50000 a month.

"We always had funding from the Lotto and we received quite a substantial amount of money during the 2010 World Cup. Lately, however, our reserves have run out."

Bezuidenhout said it had been a terrible time at the centre last week when he had to issue retrenchment notices to the nine staff members. "This donation will give us three months' grace.

"We need to start a campaign to get businesses to sponsor us for maybe R50000 a month."

The centre's troubles were not caused by mismanagement but by the organisation simply running out of funds, he said.

"There simply wasn't enough money."

  • If you want to help, please contact daycare principal, Karen Jakober, on 041-461-1370 or e-mail her at
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