DWDE brings business and disability together

The Development Workshop Development Enterprise (DWDE ) has been offering disability employment support to help integrate people with disabilities into the general workforce for the past 10 years. They work with businesses and assess their needs to help find suitable candidates.

The candidates are in turn offered training and education opportunities.

DWDE also encourages entrepreneurship with projects aimed at teaching candidates the skills required to start their own businesses.

DWDE is constantly seeking partnerships and sponsorships with businesses to continue offering people living with disabilities countless opportunities in the working environment.

This year has been a particularly busy year for the organisation that have already completed three training programmes for 80 candidates in partnership with the City of Cape Town.

Sixteen people with disabilities fromPhilippi,Manenberg,Blue Downs, Hout Bay, Tokai, Khayelitsha, Mitchell’s Plain, Uitsig, Kraaifontein and Wesbank were equipped with
the skills to start their own sewing business in January.

April saw another 16 candidates from Mitchell’s Plain, Khayelitsha, Western District, Southern District, Northern District, Tygerberg, Eastern District and Klipfontein
District receive training to start their own craft and beading busi-

From January to March this year, 48 candidates from across the peninsula were given the chance to experience on the job mentorship while learning administrative skills for
a number of different institutions.

Apart from these projects, DWDE also employs people with disabilities to work at the Cape Town International Airport (ACSA) while 100 people will be employed through the Independent Development Trust’s Expanded Public Works Programme over the next two years.

Siphokazi Qongqo, 29, from Delft who has albinism, is based at the DWDE Claremont office as an intern. She says she has gained confidence and got the chance to follow her dream of going back to school to improve her matric results.

“They make me feel important,” she says, adding: “They make me feel like I’m also a human being.”

This is a sentiment shared by DWDE beneficiary, Felicity Valentyne, 65, who’s been working at the Lady Michaelis Day Hospital in Plumstead.

Ms Valentyne says her dealings with the organisation have been “most fulfilling” and that their staff are some of the kindest, most understanding people she’s ever known.

Ms Valentyne suffers from mental illness.

“They see what I do as valuable and have unwavering confidence in my abilities to make a contribution. This has enriched me more than I can describe.”

In addition to their training and employment projects, DWDE also hosts weekly open days where people with disabilities can find help looking for employment.

The open days are held at DWDE’s offices in Claremont and candidates can get help writing their CVs, career counselling and coaching and interview coaching when needed.

For more information about the organisation, or to get involved,
visit their website at www.dwde.co.za or call them on 021 674 6139.