To support the health and development of vulnerable children living in the children’s homes in South Africa
Developmental Therapy and Medical Services to babies and children aged 0-6years living in children’s homes.
Thusanani has come far since it was established as an NPO in 2002. It was started to address the challenges identified by occupational therapists working in the Soweto area. Therapists noticed that there was no service being provided to the children’s homes with the result that this already vulnerable population of children were even more at risk for developmental delay. The government therapy system was significantly over burdened and caregivers were unable to reliably access the therapy the orphaned and vulnerable children vitally needed.
These children were showing signs of institutionalisation due to a severe lack of stimulation in their environments. Children had very few toys, if any to play with and little in their immediate environment to provide any stimulation. Staff shortages and insufficient training of care givers also contributed to their difficulties. Most tragically their behaviour and delayed development was preventing them from being adopted as prospective parents saw them as being ill and weak.
Initially Thusanani operated on a voluntary basis with therapists working out of their cars. In September 2006, we moved into the Childrens Memorial Institute (CMI) on the Braamfontein Parktown border. This allowed us to set up an office base while therapists still practiced within various childrens homes in Gauteng.
During 2012 we employed a Speech Therapist and at the start of 2013, we expanded to include a paediatrician and a medical clinic manager.
In April 2014, we decided that all our services were to be offered at the CMI where we now coordinate our core functions: A pediatric medical clinic, occupational therapy and speech therapy, allowing us to be more efficient and effective.
More recently we have formed close working relations with other NPOs allowing us to offer a comprehensive pediatric medical and therapy service.
These exciting steps have allowed us to provide a more holistic service to the children and the homes that we serve.