24thFeb

Diatile Makuwa

Diatile Makuwa, 26, from Diepsloot, was introduced to Afrika Tikkun’s Dishumeleni self-help group in 2017. As a mom to a son diagnosed with cerebral palsy at the age of one, meeting caregivers and other parents of children with disabilities felt like a warm and welcoming safety net. It did however, take Diatile some time to translate the advice she was receiving into action; at first listening to the stories relating to children with disabilities felt very draining. It was only after attending the leadership training at Uthando Centre in 2018, that she truly began to resonate with Afrika Tikkun’s approach and message. In early 2019, she enrolled in Career Development Programme’s (CDP) Work Readiness training at Wings of Life Centre and made the most of further opportunities by completing computer skills and driver’s license courses. Diatile was also a participant in the COURRAGE Programme, a multi-partner therapeutic programme using a number of creative methods. Through COURRAGE, Diatile began her process of healing and gained courage to continue in life without blaming herself or anyone else for her challenges.  Listening to other women’s stories offered comradery and affirmed to her she was not alone in her journey and struggles. Last year, she applied for the Youth Employment Service (YES) Initiative and was hired to work at Afrika Tikkun as a receptionist. Now, she’s actively saving to continue her studies. “I always wanted to further my studies but it could not happen due to high fees; my only source of income was a social grant,” said Diatile. She is now left with one subject to complete in a management assistant course. Diatile’s goal of graduating and creating a bright future for herself is now in sight.

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