In an effort to raise awareness of the importance of providing sound education to children with Down Syndrome and other special educational needs in South Africa, Metrofile Holdings Limited – the JSE-listed information and records management business – has decided to contribute towards the education of one girl with special educational needs, who cannot attend a conventional mainstream school but requires a play based kinaesthetic approach to learning.
This is according to Vera Massyn, Human Resources General Manager at Metrofile, who says Metrofile has chosen to focus some of its Corporate Social Responsibility efforts in the education sector, as providing a quality education is one of the crucial components in the creation of a sustainable future for South African youth.
“Education in our country is a real priority, but the question of how to contribute to this in a positive way can prove difficult. For many children with disabilities, access to facilities which cater specifically for their needs is simply not an option, and many mainstream schools cannot cope with the requirements of special needs children.”
Massyn says Metrofile will be assisting the parents by sponsoring a portion of the school fees as well as aftercare costs for a five year old girl who attends Sowle Centre in Benoni. “In addition to this, costs for her special occupational and speech therapies will also be sponsored once her family’s medical aid funds are depleted. The sponsorship will continue until she has completed Grade 12 and we will be monitoring her progress on a quarterly basis, together with her teacher and her parents.”
Belinda van Heerden, a director at Sowle Centre, says the centre is a Christian based non-profit organisation aimed at educating higher functioning children with Down Syndrome and other special educational needs to the maximum possible level attainable by each pupil. “We recognise each child’s strengths and provide individual support and attention to nurture them and help them grow so that they are able to function effectively in society. Children from four years of age can attend the school where we integrate therapies into learning times.”
“Metrofile would like to ensure this little girl receives the education and support she deserves, so that she will be equipped to decide what she would like to do with her life,” concludes Massyn.