Durban – TWO day-care centres in Mariannhill, run by the KZN Cerebral Palsy Association might be forced to close soon because of a lack of funding.
The Durban non-profit organisation needs to raise at least R5million a year to stay afloat. If they fail to raise the money, hundreds of children and adults in their care, would be left homeless.
The association, which relied on donations, last received a grant from the National Lotteries Commission two years ago and is now battling to keep its doors open.
“In these tough economic times, donors are reluctant to part with cash. Even small amounts from our iconic Cerebral Palsy dolls has diminished,” said Ina Borstlap, the association’s director.
Should the centre close, many families would be left devastated. Among them would be 62-year-old Crosby Magwanyana, from Cato Ridge, KwaXimba, grandfather to a 3-year-old who attends the day centre.
Magwanyana said, “I’m happy that my grandchild is here because at home there’s no one that can look after him.”
But KZN Cerebral Palsy Association was not the only organisation facing financial difficulties. According to Ubuntu Community Chest executive director, Gordon MacDonald, many NPOs were affected and were “responding by downsizing which was not good, as we are dealing with vulnerable people who heavily rely on our services”.The Sunday Tribune contacted the provincial department of social development to enquire about subsidies for children and adults in the care of the organisation and was informed that because it provided specialised mental health services, it was the responsibility of the Department of Health.
Spokesperson for the KZN Department of Health Ncumisa Mafunda said they assist NGOs that meet their criteria for funding, provided that funding is available. However, Mafunda said they had not received an application or request from the KZN Cerebral Palsy Association.