Discover a mother’s heartfelt commitment to special needs education

Discover a mother’s heartfelt commitment to special needs education

This mother is committed to helping children with special needs.

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Supplied, Beautiful News

Xoliswa Mjezu couldn’t understand her daughter’s unusual behaviour. The three-year-old’s atypical speech and hyperactivity left Mjezu stumped – until little Unam was diagnosed with autism. Mjezu spent two years applying to schools in her community, to no avail. “Daycares do not accommodate for children with different abilities,” she says. Finally, the toddler was accepted at the Paarl Stimulation Centre, which caters to children with disabilities. But the scarcity of these facilities across South Africa still plagued Mjezu. “I’ve seen so many parents struggling with their kids,” she says. So Mjezu made a decision to act – by transforming her own home into a haven of hope.

After completing a diploma in Early Childhood Development, Mjezu launched the Good Hope Day Care Centre in Mbekweni in 2015. “In my community, there was no place for children with special needs, until now,”  she says. Mjezu currently attends to 21 children and has fostered a child with cerebral palsy. What she lacks in finances, Mjezu makes up for in energy. “I’m committed to taking care of these kids, to see them safe and enjoying themselves,” she says. 

Mjezu’s dream is to build a comprehensive childcare centre. For now, her home is a space where kids can improve their motor skills, paint, and build puzzles at their own pace. “The more time I spend with these children, the more I realise that they are capable of so much more,” Mjezu says. Providing for her daughter’s needs has ultimately led her to caring for many others. When it comes to basic education, this level of commitment is what makes all the difference.

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