Here is something to cheer you all up during these trying times!

Having a phone for most people is definitely nothing to write home about, but it is a totally different script when it comes to Sibusiso children. Last week, six of the Sibusiso children working at Enza Zaden bought mobile phones, with their hard earned money, and it is exciting just to see how excited they are over something we all take for granted.

But it is even better! Janeth Nicolaus bought a piece of land, a one acre piece of land! How amazing! There are so many ‘abled’ people living on the streets or under very poor conditions, but our own Janeth has pulled a surprise on her entire village! When a meeting of land owners is to be called, she will surely stand to be counted. This is one of the biggest achievements the center has had, raising a child from almost nothing to full independence!

Janeth, now 23 years of age, joined Sibusiso at the age of 8 years old, diagonised with mental retardation and barely any speech. In 2017, she was old enough to join social skills for a year, after which, she was employed at Enza Zaden through the Life After Sibusiso Program (this program aims to create more opportunities for the children outside Sibusiso). It is great to know that the slogan to teach the children to help themselves is paying off!

She lives with her grandmother, who is over the moon about the news. Janeth’s goal is to build a house for her grandma on the same piece of land so they can move out of the single rented room they now live in. She hopes to achieve this by the end of 2021, and the teachers are happy to help her achieve her dreams.

The program coordinator spoke to the village elder and a few of her neighbours, they have nothing but respect and praise for Sibusiso, and particularly Janeth, for her and her achievements. ‘We are very surprised and impressed at how a disabled girl is employed and even buying land. No one could imagine she would be able to do anything. Very many ‘normal’ girls at her age or even older, have no jobs and some are in very desperate early marriages. Janeth has set a big example and challenge to everyone in this village, in fact, some people are making a joke out of it to ridicule men in the village with no land or jobs, that a ‘disabled’ girl has beaten them all. I am very impressed and I will give her all the support she needs’ said Mr. Charles Akundaeli, the village elder. Janeth has gone against all odds, of being a disabled, girl, in a very chauvinist society, to rise into a respected member. Although her speech is not perfect yet, she can communicate well, and she loves her lipstick! Haha! We all look forward to walking this exciting journey with Janeth!

We would like to thank everyone for the great support and love for Sibusiso. We are because you are! Stay home, stay safe, sanitize, and after all this is gone, we will all raise a glass to more success stories!