Janet Nicolaus is a typical example of what Sibusiso stands for ‘Helping children with mental disabilities to help themselves.’
Janet is among the very first children of Sibusiso. She joined the program at 4 years, with delayed milestones; neither could she sit nor speak. Throughout the years, Janet has indeed developed into a fine, employed woman, making her family super proud. She has been through every stage and program at Sibusiso; from 3 months group, to monthly appointments, to 6 months group and eventually to the employment program. She has been employed at Enza Zaden, a seed production company, for two years now in the laundry department; yes, the 6 months cleaning lessons did pay off. For 3 months in those two months, Janet has won the employee of the month!
Her dream was to always give her single mum the best life, and since day 1 in employment, she swore she would build her a house. With the help of the teachers, she acquired a piece of land in 2020, and just a year later, Janet has built her dream home. It is still under construction, but they have both moved in one of the rooms, and they just can not wait to finish it all. This has shocked everyone in the community, that the famous ‘taira’ has managed to save her mum from grass to grace. Taira is a very rude, stigmatizing word used for mad people. She has been applauded recently by the village elders, and all other ‘normal’ people were asked to emulate her. ‘It is unheard of, first time in this village, that a disabled person, who was so belittled by many, has put up a building that maybe only 10 percent people in this village have managed to. I am speechless, and hope that everyone can see it as a challenge,’ said Mr. Darius Kimaro of Mbuguni village.
‘I knew that Janet was a special child, but I did not expect this kind of special. I am grateful to Sibusiso, and everyone involved, I can never have enough words to say thank you, I just hope that you never tire doing what you do for our children, and, pray that more parents can experience this joy,’ said Janet’s mother.