A big move, in a big year!

In Uncategorized on June 15, 2010 at 7:24 am
Dear Valued Subscriber to the Epilepsy South Africa Newsletter

 Moving into our new office on 15 February 2010 turned out to be an immense job.  I am glad to report that after only a week at our new premises we have managed to unpack and sort most of our files and furniture and we are fully up and running.  Please note our new contact details in this newsletter. We simply had to include another picture as well.
Epilepsy South Africa nationally is currently focusing on completing business plan implementation for the financial year 2009/2010 (ending on 31 March 2010) and planning for business plan implementation during the 2010/2011 financial year commencing on 1 April 2010. During 2010/2011 Epilepsy South Africa nationally will focus on continued and increased good governance, marketing, financial sustainability and service expansion. To achieve all our goals and implement all our service programmes requires a strong teamwork approach, personnel capacity and financial resources.
 I can testify that within Epilepsy South Africa we do not lack any enthusiasm or teamwork. We will however focus on building up our financial resources and our personnel capacity to ensure that services can be delivered and sustained.  I would thus like to thank each and every one of our supporters: You are very special people who assist us in turning obstacles into true potential for people with epilepsy and/or other disabilities. Some of you support us by providing encouragement, others by providing your time and skills and some by donating materials or financial contributions. How you support us is not important; the important fact is that you have given of your resources, time, energy and yourselves to assist people with epilepsy in South Africa and that makes you a hero in our eyes!
During March 2010 Epilepsy South Africa will host our policy and position charter review meetings (1 – 5 March 2010). We will also host our National Directors meetings and Strategic Planning meeting from 22 – 26 March 2010 and our National Board meeting on 27 March 2010. If you would like to obtain more information about these meetings please do not hesitate to contact me.
 I would also like to place an open invitation to any person who would like to learn more about epilepsy and Epilepsy South Africa to please contact me. I will provide you with the information you require and arrange a visit to any of our Branches or the National Office depending on your needs. In this way we can only strengthen our service base, increase knowledge about epilepsy and decrease discrimination towards people with epilepsy. (My contact details are provided below)

I hope you will find our March newsletter interesting and inspiring and look forward to sharing more news with you in April 2010.
Noëline de Goede


March E-news Contents:

New premises and contact detail of the National Office:

New premises and contact detail of the National Office:

 by Noeline de Goede, National DirectorIt is wonderful to share our new contact information with you:

  • Physical address: Ground Floor, Syfin House, Fairway Close, Parow, 7500
  • Postal address: PO Box 12100, N1 City, 7463
  • Telephone number: 021 595 4900 (international +27215954900)
  • Fax number: 021 595 4901 (international +27215954901)

Please note that if you have mail on the way to the old address – it will reach us as a forwarding system has been put in place for the next few months.


Champions to the test on 14 March:

by Drikie Snyman National Marketer and PROAccording to the Weather Department our four Backabuddy champions will be facing a 40° level of discomfort on the day of the Pick and Pay Argus cycle race.
Steven, Tim, Caroline and Charl still needs your encouragement so please think of them. We sincerely appreciate the personal involvement of these individuals and will look out for them on television.

They will be cycling in the Epilepsy South Africa and Novartis apparel and we will make sure to include a picture of the group in our April edition. The picture included is of Tim de Villiers, our National Office Chairperson, taken during the Pick and Pay Cape Argus 2009.

To view their profiles on Backabuddy, click on the link provided below:
Steven Densum

Tim and Caroline de Villiers

Charl van Rooyen

 Champions to the test on 14 March:

Epilepsy South Africa Health and Wellness Week 16th -19th February

There was also a focus on promoting healthy sexual lifestyles. Female and male contraceptives were distributed and a short presentation on the application of both male and female condoms was done and questions on the contraceptives were asked and answered.

As part of promoting healthy and nutritious eating, Epilepsy South Africa secured a donation of fresh fruit and vegetables which were packed and distributed to the workshops and projects.

Overall the week was a success with important information on living a healthy lifestyle being distributed. Based on the success of this week Epilepsy South Africa will be making Wellness Week an annual event!

by Anthea Emmanual, Social Development Manager Western Cape
Epilepsy South Africa Western Cape Branch celebrated its first Health and Wellness Week which coincided with the Healthy Lifestyles Awareness Day being celebrated on the 21st February 2010. The focus of the week was to promote healthy lifestyles through a poster and pamphlet display that was set up at all of our workshops, income generation projects and at the Regional Office.The topics that were covered included how to eat healthily, looking after your physical and mental wellbeing, providing information on how to ensure that your water is safe to drink, the dangers of smoking and how to care for your baby. A number of pamphlets that were distributed highlighted common conditions such as TB, HIV/Aids and the management thereof.

Service Delivery – Expanding in the Western Cape

Service Delivery – Expanding in the Western Capeby Ruth

Nugent – Social Worker at Epilepsy South Africa Western Cape BranchThe Branch is very excited about the fact that the new social worker will be covering areas that we have not worked in before, namely the Wynberg and Cape Town Districts. Our mission within these areas is to create awareness and educate people about epilepsy as far and wide as possible. The communities in which the social worker will be working in the respective districts have been chosen due to expressed needs for our services:

In the Wynberg District the social worker is doing public education and counseling at the major Community Health Centers namely Masimphumelelo Clinic in Ocean View and Lady Michaelis in Plumstead. In addition, Lavender Hill and Seawinds Community Health Centres have been made drop-off points for epilepsy information.

Linkages have been formed with NGO’s in this district such as the Disability Coordinator of the Department of Social Development, Valley Development Project, New World Foundation, Inclusive Education Western Cape, the Multi Disciplinary Forum in Lavender Hill/Capricorn, the Western Cape Education Department (Circuit 1 Metro South Education District), the Centre for Early Childhood Development, Rapcan and Sunrise Special Care Centre. The Social Worker is still developing more networks.

The same services are being rendered in the Cape Town District at major Community Health Centers namely Woodstock Community Health Centre, Dunoon Community Health Centre, and Robbie Nurock. In addition, Spencer and Chapel Street Community Health Centres have been made drop-off points for epilepsy information.

The Social Worker has also linked up with some NGO’s within the district namely the Department of Social Development Disability Coordinator, the Cape Town Association for Persons with Disabilities, Disability Workshop Development Enterprise and Cape Mental Health Society. The Social Worker is still developing more networks.

Very soon we will be seeing bigger community events within these districts and we look forward to rolling out our other specialised programmes in the respective Districts.
Joyce Kanhema – Social Worker


Opening of new offices:

by Tertius Meyer, Public Relations Free State and North West Branch.During the year the demand for our services has increased more and more in the community of Tumahole (the township in Parys). Problems were experienced with service delivery as the offices in Parys were not sufficiently accessible, especially in terms of home-based care. The people that we serve are poor and far away from our offices in Parys.The Thabang Society started a community centre in the old Mabatho Primary School building and thanks to this development we are now able to have an office in Tumahole. The offices in Tumahole have two permanent staff members, nine Volunteer Lay Counselors and 29 Volunteer Home-Based Carers.

The following services are offered by this satellite office:

• Home-Based Care
• Community Development
• Mental Health
• Education and Advocacy
• Volunteer Management
• Food Security
• Victim Empowerment
• Entrepreneur Development

This new and exciting expansion makes it possible for us to reach more people in a cost-effective manner, especially because this office is accessible to the Tumahole community.

For more information about the office please contact Sr. Nellian van Niekerk at our Branch Offices in Parys on (056) 811 5959.

Jet Community Awards:

The Jet Community Awards invites entries annually from citizens of South Africa, Botswana, Namibia, Lesotho and Swaziland, specific to those individuals or organisations that have made a compelling contribution to the wellbeing of their communities.The 2010 Awards will recognise community projects and grass roots organisations in the four categories of:

  • “Education”, honouring organisations and individuals focusing on school-level programmes of excellence in literacy, maths, science and technology;
  • “We Care”, organisations/individuals who focus on (a) people with disabilities, specifically in terms of care, support and empowerment, as well as initiatives that deal with people with disabilities and (b) abused women and orphaned and vulnerable children (OVC) specifically affected by the HIV/AIDS epidemic;
  • “Vukuzenzele” which recognises entrepreneurs and development centres that help create jobs and stimulate economic development. There are three awards within this category – namely awarding black (African, Coloured, Asian) women in business; youths in business (18 – 35) and small businesses in rural areas; and
  • “Environmental Waste Management” which recognises organisations/individuals that focus on reducing or eliminating waste production as far as possible so that there is less impact on the environment.

 Nominations and self-completed entries will be accepted. Entry forms are available online at Jet

Entries close on 31 May. 

Epilepsy and Stress:

It is medically accepted that a number of common nonspecific environmental factors may lower a person’s seizure threshold. These include psychological stress, menstruation, poor nutrition, sleep deprivation, alcohol or sedative drug withdrawal, fever, infectious processes, head trauma, and various toxic and metabolic conditions which can disrupt water, pH and electrolyte balance, and energy metabolism.
for the complete article please download the document at http://epilepsy.org.za/download/index.php

By Karen Robinson- National Social Development ManagerWhether you are worried about a big exam or having problems at work, the stress of a situation can trigger seizures. People with epilepsy must take into consideration hunger, lack of sleep, missed medications, fevers or illness and stress as possible triggers for seizures. All these factors can lower a person’s seizure threshold, increasing the likelihood of having a seizure. The seizure threshold is the susceptibility of a person to have seizures.”Although epilepsy may take place in the brain, it may profoundly influence the morale, well-being, self-image and lifestyle…may briefly change the way a person thinks, feels and acts…. But how someone thinks, feels and acts may also change his or her epilepsy.” Dr. Tim Betts. Epilepsy and Stress (British Medical Journal 15.8.92)


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