The work was submitted by artists with disabilities from all parts of South Africa, and ranged from pastel sketches and oil paintings to sculpture and jewellery.
This event is hosted by QASA and the regional QuadPara Association in a different city each year, and is one of the highlights of the Association’s calendar. QASA decided to create this event to highlight the extraordinary talents of disabled artists and create exposure for the artists.
This year’s event had several generous sponsors. Funding was provided by Joseph’s Incorporated Attorneys, a firm which has offered legal advice and assistance with personal injury claims for many years. The ICC Durban made the glamorous venue available at no cost, and the art was professionally displayed by Nikiso Visual & Marketing and Exhibition Stand Systems.
A cocktail party was held to showcase the exhibition, and guest speaker Professor Ronald Green-Thompson, Director of the KZN Department of Health, praised the artists for the exceptionally high standard of work on display. Wine for the party was kindly donated by Woolworths and GroundWorks Wines.
Next year’s art exhibition will be hosted in Kimberley at the Gariep Kuns Fees. Artists who wish to exhibit are welcome to contact Sarah at the QASA office on (031) 767 0348.
Sixty-five people with disabilities are soon to be making their way in the open market as entrepreneurs with their own small businesses. These people are learners on the QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA’s) “Amasondo Esibindi – Wheels of Courage” New Venture Creation learnership, which aims to give people with disabilities the skills and experience to set up and run their own businesses.
The learnership started on the University of Johannesburg campus in October last year, and since then the learners have gained basic business skills, drawn up their own business plans, gained experience in simulated businesses, and are now looking for funding to establish their dreams.
This learnership is a collaboration between QASA and the Services SETA. QASA initiated the project in Durban during 2003, recognising that for people with disabilities the open labour market is an unfriendly place, and the best option for them to become financially independent and even create wealth is through their own entrepreneurial efforts.
Since 2003, the learnership has been run in Durban, Cape Town and Johannesburg for a total of 200 learners, with approximately 20 businesses having been established so far.
As the Johannesburg learnership draws to a close, some of the learners have already established their businesses. A prime example is Phila Nyandeni, who has started a catering and tent hire business called Phila’s Tents. Others are busy finalising their business plans.
QASA is proud of the giant steps these learners have taken in the last year, and has faith in their belief in themselves and in the contribution they will make to growing South Africa.
The Umsobomvu Youth Fund (UYF) is well known for walking its talk and ensuring entrepreneurs are given the required support to succeed in their businesses. In the annual UYF Conference, that was held in Nelspruit on the 22 – 24 June, four of the Amasondo Esibindi (New Venture Creation learnership) learners were invited to attend the Conference as guests of the UYF.
The Conference included case studies on various programmes focussing on entrepreneurship (incuding the Amasondo Esibindi project), the role of various government structures in promoting entrepreneurship, feedback on the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor Report, local and international research on entrepreneurship and international case studies around specific areas of entrepreneurship.
(Picture: The Amasondo Esibindi learners: (from left) Alfred Maledimo, William Boshomane, Sello Maake and Mbongeni Zondi attending the UYF Gala Dinner.)
There was interesting debate around the role of entrepreneurship in FET Colleges and for in and out of School Youth. The Entrepreneurship Campaign for 2010 was outlined and included the role of persons with a disability. It became apparent during the presentation on disability how much work is still needed to capacitate people on the inclusion of people with disabilities, particularly with respect to training and employment.
The Gala Dinner was an extravagant affair with powerful speakers. The charming Vusi Thembakwayo, a motivational speaker and entrepreneur entertained the crowds with feedback on his successes, challenges and staying motivated. Malose Kekana gave a comprehensive overview of the successes within the UYF and where the challenges still lay in ensuring the success of entrepreneurs in South Africa. The Premier of Mpumalanga provided insight into the growth of entrepreneurs in the Mpumalanga region and the Head of Economic Development and Planning Affairs, Tshukudu, provided his ideas on the way forward for entrepreneurship. Daphne Mashile-Nkosi emphasised the importance of ensuring women are included in all programmes around entrepreneurship.
The four learners that attended the Conference were given the opportunity to network with other entrepreneurs, potential funders, exhibitors, training providers and presenters. The extensive programme ensured that they were kept captivated for the three days of the Conference and had many questions answered and many new ones formulated. The learners agreed to present on their experience and what they had learnt from the Conference to their fellow learners in Johannesburg.
All in all, we are making strides in ensuring that disability is incorporated into development programmes in South Africa and that such programmes have the desired impact.
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