SACRAMENTO – In the manner the Warriors want him to lead, Jacob Evans spoke in a commanding voice with a mix of self-accountability and defiance about his rookie season.“Last year was disappointing for me. But I don’t really care how anyone else looks at it,” Evans told the Bay Area News Group. “Knowing what I can do on the basketball court, I wasn’t able to do that at the level I know I could.”In the manner the Warriors want him to play, Evans sounded passionate and aggressive toward those …
18 January 2005British singer/songwriter Elton John has opened a care centre in Eldorado Park, Johannesburg that runs life skills projects for orphaned, abused and neglected children.The Elton John Masibambisane Centre provides aftercare facilities as well as running various programmes during school holidays and on weekends.The UK superstar got involved after the centre and Johannesburg Child Welfare approached the Elton John Aids Foundation for help. They received funding in December 2003 and work began on developing a new venue in 2004.Elton John formally opened the centre on Wednesday, 12 January.In a press release, Elton John said: “The success of the Elton John Masibambisane Centre is an incredible template for what can be done to assist children to get into the mainstream of life.”During his low-key visit to the country, the flamboyant musician hosted a private charity dinner in Cape Town to raise money for the fight against HIV/Aids.The event, during which he performed some of his hits before an audience of local celebrities, business figures, sports stars and politicians, reportedly raised around R7-million.The singer also visited an Aids clinic in KwaZulu-Natal and toured several projects supported by the Elton John Aids FoundationThe Elton John Masibambisane CentreSince opening its doors in September 2003, the Elton John Masibambisane Centre, run by Johannesburg Child Welfare, has had to move from one venue to another as the numbers of children attending courses or using the aftercare facilities burgeoned. Initially some 70 children made use of the centre. It now caters for 165 children.Since its establishment, the centre has worked closely with the community, schools and clinics. Community groups liaise with the centre when a child is in need and the social workers then follow up the request, talking to the family and the child.Part of the work of the Elton John Masibambisane Centre is to visit families in the neighbourhood, particularly where parents are critically ill. “We counsel ill parents and make an agreement with them to keep and take good care of the children when they die”, says project coordinator Eunice Mahlanga.The children do not live at the centre. They come to the centre after school, where, with the help of community caregivers and extended family members, they are given a meal and helped with homework and preparation for the following day’s school.The children are also able to take a bath or shower at the centre, and can also use the facilities to wash their uniforms.“We don’t want to take the children away from the people they are used to, especially their siblings”, says fundraising manager Jill Edgar.By running the centre in this way, “we want the children grow up knowing that there is someone out there who loves and cares for them”, Edgar adds.The centre also offers counselling to the children. “Our plan is for the children to start making memory boxes to remember their deceased parents”, says Mahlanga.Source: City of Johannesburg Want to use this article in your publication or on your website?See: Using SAinfo material
Casual Day ambassadors Benedictor Mokoena (front) and Adri Visser (back) with Alma School learner Angelique Bezuidenhout. Alma School is a school for learners with disabilities in Pretoria and one of the largest schools in the country catering to needs of disabled learners.As Disability Rights Awareness Month draws to a close, Casual Day nears the conclusion of its campaign for the year. But the work is not over, and the organisation is now setting its sights on launching its National Schools Programme for 2016.Schools across the country are encouraged to increase their involvement in the campaign by pairing up with mainstream schools in their area and pledge their support of the 2016 Casual Day campaign.Casual Day project leader Vanessa du Plessis has asked pupils, parents and teachers to make Casual Day one of the stand-out events on their calendars in 2016.Disability Rights Awareness Month began on 3 November and will run until 3 December. 3 December is the International Day of Persons with Disabilities as well as South Africa’s National Disability Rights Awareness Day.“Disability Rights Awareness Month provides South Africa with an opportunity to inspire hope and confidence in the ability of communities and the state machinery to work together in addressing the common challenges facing persons with disabilities and society in general,” explained Du Plessis.She also urged governmental bodies to ensure all public and private schools across the country made it a point to celebrate Casual Day, stating that “schools are a significant aspect of government and schools are where values and morals are inculcated”.Tshilidzini Special School in Limpopo province is the top performer in the country in raising funds for persons with disabilities.CASUAL DAYEstablished in 1995, Casual Day is the flagship project of the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa (NCPPDSA).Each year, the project invites all South Africans to dress differently and wear the specially designed Casual Day sticker on an allocated day (this year’s Casual Day took place on Friday, 4 September) in exchange for a R10 donation that goes towards supporting the many organisations relying on the project.Since its creation, Casual Day has grown into one of the country’s leading fundraisers in support of disability awareness and creating a fully accessible and inclusive society for all.With the help of the general public as well as a number of corporate sponsors, Casual Day had contributed more than R222-million to the funding of organisations providing education, assistive devices, shelter and employment to the nearly 15% of the population who had disabilities, Du Plessis said.The total sum of money raised this year will be announced in February 2016.“It is important to note that government funding for NGOs working in the sector is inadequate – and that most of them survive on private donations, which means Casual Day is vital to these services,” she said, highlighting the significance of the project in meeting the needs of people who had disabilities.TIMELY INTERVENTIONA series of studies, said the Casual Day organisers, conducted by the NCPPDSA, Mpumalanga’s Department of Social Development, Statistics South Africa and Casual Day participant Disabled Children’s Action Group (DICAG) revealed the following:Only 42% of the children with disabilities identified in Mpumalanga’s Ehlanzeni, Nkangala and Gert Sibande districts were receiving rehabilitation. (Mpumalanga’s Department of Social Development)Only 33% of these children had the assistive devices they required. (Mpumalanga’s Department of Social Development)Around 59% of these children reported that their caregivers did not know how to apply for an assistive device. (Mpumalanga’s Department of Social Development)Children with disabilities were substantially less likely to attend school than their non-disabled peers. (NCPPDSA)Drop-out rates among children with disabilities that did attend school were significantly higher than those of their peers who are not disabled. (NCPPDSA)There were significant gaps in the child justice system in dealing with cases that involved children with disabilities for a number of reasons, such as witnesses being incompetent because of a break-down in communication. (DICAG)“These figures are shocking and saddening,” said Du Plessis, “but Casual Day brings a huge ray of hope, because the awareness campaign around Casual Day puts a public focus on the needs of persons with disabilities.“We do not only focus on children, but provide funding to the entire age spectrum. For example, Alzheimer’s South Africa raises funds for its research and awareness campaigns through Casual Day.”Through its holistic approach, the Casual Day campaign supports a wide range of beneficiaries including the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa, the Deaf Federation of South Africa and the South African Disability Alliance.By continuously raising awareness of the plight of people with disabilities, Casual Day has made strides in transforming our society into one that recognises the positive contributions made by people with disabilities to the country.
PANAJI: The top bureaucracy in Goa, led by the Chief Secretary, was grappling on Friday evening with the finalisation of notices to outlets serving liquor within 500 metres of highways.On December 15, the Supreme Court had banned sale of liquor within 500 metres of highways across the country. On Friday, the apex court said the ban is not limited to retail liquor outlets, and includes bars, pubs and restaurants.The State Finance Secretary, Daulat Hawaldar, told The Hindu that though the government was yet to receive a copy of the SC’s review order, which had given some State-specific relief based on pleas filed by some States, it was clear that no relief has been provided to Goa.The State government was gearing to issue notices to 3, 200 outlets, including retail outlets, shops, restaurants and even wholesale liquor shops, identified by a special committee headed by State Excise Commissioner Menino D’Souza.Earlier in the week, the government had decided to issue notices to only around 789 retailers.