Sep 25, 2022

Mama Mabaso: The Heroine With A Big Heart For The Disabled

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Mama Mabaso is requesting assistance to secure bigger space to accommodate more than 100 kids.

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By Yoliswa Mahlalela 

Sometimes challenges have a tendency of directing the path we take in life. Linah Mabaso’s life is testament to that. 39 years ago, she gave birth to a boy with a disability.

When it was time to send her son to school, it became a huge struggle as there were no schools for the disabled in and around the Tembisa area.

“I have a son who is disabled, this is close to home. I got him when I was eight months pregnant in other words he was born before time. Finding out that my child is not like other kids broke my heart as a mother of five and him being the fourth one but instantly loved him because he was unique and a very special gift from God,” she says.

The struggle in finding a school pushed her to set up one that would cater for children with special needs in the area. That led to the birth of Kgaugelo Stimulation Center in 1999.

The day care ordinarily houses 40 disabled children but due to Covid-19 they are left with 25. “When it came to finding schools for him I suffered. At that time Tembisa had no disability center so I had to go out of town to look for schools, only to find out that they don’t have space. I then sat down with Doctor Thindisi who I pitched the idea of starting my own day care and he really liked my idea, he approved. That’s how Kgaugelo Stimulation Centre came about,” she says, adding that her husband was supportive.

Kgaugelo Stimulation Center was founded in 1999 in Tembisa. Pic Supplied

Her desire is to accommodate every child who is disabled around Tembisa, but she says she is limited by space. President Cyril Ramaphosa visited the centre back in 2017 and she requested assistance to secure bigger space to accommodate more than 100 kids. The place she currently rents comes at a cost of R2600 per month.

However, despite promises that the President would look into her issue, there has been no joy from his office. “I feel disappointed by our government, it’s like our children with disabilities are not a priority. They are focused on the “normal children” since schools are being built for them,” she says.

Pain is written all over her eyes as she explains her predicament. “I pray not to die now before building for my kids,” she adds. Mama Mabaso, however, receives subsidies from the Department of Health. She adds that with a bit more support she would be able to secure better equipment for the kids. 

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