Another year end – and a new beginning!

In Uncategorized on June 15, 2010 at 7:32 am
Dear Reader

 The newsletter 31 March 2010 was our financial year end.  We facilitated our National Directors and National Board meetings during March and completed  our national strategic plan for implementation during 2010/2011.On 1 April 2010 the National Office personnel commenced revision of our 2009/2010 and 2010/2011 business plans, gearing towards achievement of our annual programme goals and objectives.I want to congratulate the individuals who completed the Argus Cycle Race for Epilepsy South Africa. They are Steven Densum, Tim de Villiers, Caroline de Villiers and Charl van Rooyen. I also want to thank Novartis who provided funding to make Steven Densum’s dream come true, namely to cycle in the Argus Race as a person with epilepsy. Further gratitude goes to the Novartis cyclist who also cycled this race in Epilepsy South Africa branded clothing. The exposure this brought to Epilepsy South Africa and epilepsy as a condition is sincerely valued.

I am very excited about the planning for National Epilepsy Week and National Epilepsy Day 2010, the upcoming National Advocacy Conference and the commencement of our first direct service point in the Eastern Cape Province. You can read more about these events and programmes in this newsletter and the May 2010 newsletter.

I hope that our Christian readers enjoyed a blessed Easter, that our Hindu readers enjoyed a blessed Ramanavami, that our Jewish readers enjoyed a blessed Pesach and that all our readers will enjoy a peaceful Freedom Day on 27 April 2010.

Noëline de Goede

April E-news Contents:

Disability and Human Rights Campaign

Epilepsy South Africa, Western Cape

Epilepsy South Africa dedicated a week of activities to raising awareness about disability and human rights, to interlink with the celebration of Human Rights day on 21st March. The campaign (posters and pamphlets) was aimed at creating knowledge and understanding about human rights and disability from the 19th – 26th of March.

As part of our campaign, we targeted libraries, community health centres and hospitals within the areas of the following districts Athlone, Wellington, Cape Town, Wynberg, Bellville and Mitchells Plain. A total number of 14 libraries, 8 Community Health Centres, 1 hospital, 3 exhibitions, the Athlone Department of Social Development, Huguenot College, Care Craft Lansdowne, Care Craft Wellington and Care Craft Mitchell’s Plain were reached.

In addition, a short presentation about the campaign was done at Ukhanyo Primary School in Masiphumelele, and an invitation was extended to the learners to create posters illustrating what they understood about rights. There will be a short presentation of these posters at a later date.

Overall, the campaign was a success as people appreciated and advocated for future enlightenment of the rights.

The disability and human rights campaign is a series of campaigns planned by the Western Cape ranch for 2010. You will receive notice of the next campaign that will take place in May “Children’s Week” and June “Youth Day”.

Disability and Human Rights Campaign  

Discovery Foundation - partner to the Eastern Cape!

Discovery Foundation – partner to the Eastern Cape!

by Karen Robinson (National Social Development Manager) and James Mkalipi (Eastern Cape Development Worker)

Epilepsy South Africa National Office would like to express gratitude to the Discovery Foundation for awarding us the necessary funding to establish the first direct Epilepsy South Africa service point within the Eastern Cape.

A site visit with the Funder was done at the offices of REHAB as James Mkalipi will be rendering services from their premises as an Epilepsy South Africa Satellite Office. The purpose of the visit by Mrs Rachel Dlamini was to congratulate Epilepsy South Africa National Office for receiving the Discovery Foundation Excellence Award. James Mkalipi was introduced to Mrs Dlamini and the meeting focused on the marketing of Epilepsy South Africa services and the implementation of the Eastern Cape Development Programme.

For more information please contact James Mkalipi +27 043 722 1811(ext 205) or email at development.ec@epilepsy.org.za

Picture: Front Row left to right: Rachel Dlamini (Representative of Discovery Excellence Award), Zininzi Mpurwana (Director REHAB) and Karen Robinson (Epilepsy South Africa National Social Development Manager)
Back Row left to right: Beth Burton (Consultant), Fatima Abrahams (Epilepsy South Africa National Fundraiser), James Mkalipi (Epilepsy South Africa Eastern Cape Development Worker)


Epilepsy South Africa Eastern Cape satellite office

By Karen Robinson (National Social Development Manager) and James Mkalipi (Eastern Cape Development Worker)On the 15 February 2010, Epilepsy South Africa National Office, appointed James Mkalipi as an Eastern Cape Development Worker. James Mkalipi will be manning our satellite office in East London.

On the 25 March 2010 the National Social Development Manager, National Fundraiser and Eastern Cape Development Worker visited East London to sign a contract with REHAB Director and to facilitate a site visit with our programme funder.

The key objectives of the Epilepsy South Africa Eastern Cape Satellite Office are as follow:

  • To address the advocacy needs of people with epilepsy and provide advocacy training
  • To establish vegetable gardens in some of the areas of the Amathole Region
  • To plan, establish and develop income generation programmes
  • To provide training in terms of entrepreneurial development
  • To ensure service delivery towards people with epilepsy and other disabilities
  • It was agreed that REHAB will provide counselling, information and other social development services to people with epilepsy. REHAB will also create awareness and give information about epilepsy and other disabilities. Epilepsy South Africa National Office will provide information and training to REHAB staff members and volunteers.

After completion of orientation at the National Office, Mr. James Mkalipi will commence service delivery on 19 April 2010 from the Epilepsy South Africa satellite office, based at REHAB in East London.


Supervisor training at Epilepsy South Africa Gauteng Branch

Supervisor training at Epilepsy South Africa Gauteng Branch

By Marina Clarke (Deputy National Director)

On 16 and 17 March 2010 the National Office presented supervisory training for a group of 21 participants from the Gauteng, Mpumalanga & Limpopo and Free State & North West Branches at the Gauteng Regional Office in Springs.

The need for this training was identified through interaction between the National Office and Branches. Too often workers are promoted into supervisory positions without the benefit of appropriate and relevant training. It is important to remember that the supervision of staff and workers require a very specific skill-set.

The training programme sought to build a shared understanding of supervision and the role of supervisors. As such the training intervention provided new knowledge on supervisory techniques, including leadership, goalsetting, planning and organising. Participants were also skilled in human resource topics such as productivity, motivation, teambuilding, delegation and communication. Specific attention was also given to problem solving, decision making, time management and self-management.

At the end of the training programme each participants designed an action plan to implement their new knowledge and skills. Implementation will be monitored during the next six months to ensure transfer of knowledge and skills into the workplace.

For more information about training programmes available from the National Office contact Marina Clarke on (021) 595-4900 or economicdev.no@epilepsy.org.za.


Argus 2010 completed, but our Champions not!

Argus 2010 completed, but our Champions not!

by Drikie Snyman, National Marketing and Public Relations Officer National Office Epilepsy South Africa

The weather forecast for the 2010 Pick and Pay Argus Cycle Tour did not favour the participating cyclist this year. On the actual day of the event, it turned around and Cape Town experienced a wonderful day. Wind is however always on the list of things to be prepared for when you are cycling this prestigious race.

Epilepsy South Africa’s four Champions took part and wore their branded (Novartis and Epilepsy South Africa) shirts, with pride. We could share in the excitement in seeing Steven Densum’s dream come true and are still convinced that obstacles can be turned into potential. He motivates that his epilepsy is a condition that pushes him to achieve more as a person. In partnership with Novartis we could assist Steven, to complete the Argus. He did this in 4h35min.

Congratulations Steven and thank you for doing us proud!

The other three fellow cyclists joined in for additional exposure to the organisation and the condition as well as the opportunity to raise funds. This is important as Epilepsy South Africa depends on donations to maintain and improve services to people with epilepsy and other disabilities.

Our champions’ profiles are still available on the net. To support them please visit the following:
Steven Densum

Tim and Caroline de Villiers

Charl van Rooyen

Noeline de Goede (National Director), Caroline de Villiers (Argus time 5h30min), Tim de Villiers (National Chairperson – Argus time 4h56min), Muneerah Humzah (Novartis representative), Steven Densum (Argus time 4h35min), Charl van Rooyen (Argus time 5h56min), Karen Robinson (National Social Development Manager)


National Epilepsy Week June 2010

By Drikie Snyman National Marketing and Public Relations Officer.

With South African National Epilepsy Week around the corner, you will find us as busy as ants trying to build something bigger than ourselves. “Sharing Epilepsy!” is this year’s theme and powerful communication will flood South Africa to share awareness regarding the condition.

With cell phones becoming one of the most competing communication tools, we simply had to utilise this opportunity for National Epilepsy Week. Should you be interested in becoming part of our group to receive sms text (text only) messages – please send an email with “SMS” in the subject line, and include your name, surname and cell phone number in the body. You are welcome to unsubscribe from this service at any time, and are charged normal cell phone rates for replies, but none for receiving our messages.

The email can be sent to marketing.no@epilepsy.org.za

If you have access to social media tools, you are welcome to talk epilepsy! We are currently featured on Facebook, Twitter and have a regular Blog that is updated with relevant news.


Sports and Recreation for People living with epilepsy

Sports and Recreation for People living with epilepsy

 (By Karen Robinson-National Social Development Manager)

Having the opportunity to participate in sport and recreational activities is important for everyone, including people with epilepsy. Lack of understanding about epilepsy and also how it affects each person differently, can mean people with epilepsy are cautioned against taking part in some activities where this is not necessary. In fact, with qualified supervision (where appropriate) and applying the necessary safety precautions there are little that you should avoid if you have epilepsy.

Active recreational activities can improve both mental and physical health and should be encouraged for people with epilepsy. Very rarely, exercise is a trigger for seizure activity, but for the vast majority of people living with epilepsy, the benefits of exercise far outweigh the risks.

Water sports, including swimming, snorkeling, jet-ski riding, windsurfing, and sailing, are risky for people with epilepsy, but with a few accommodations they can be safely pursued. A few tips will follow at the end of this article.

Contact sports such as football, rugby, basketball, and ice hockey are generally safe for people with seizures. However, family members may worry about the chance of head or bodily injury, which is common in these sports. People with epilepsy have no greater chance for injury during these sports than people without epilepsy. The chances of serious injury are small compared with the positive effects of team participation.

Most individuals with epilepsy can safely exercise in a gym and use exercise equipment. For those who have uncontrolled seizures, a buddy system may be needed when using equipment like treadmills or bicycles. For example, a person, who has occasional complex partial seizures only exercises on the treadmill when her/his friend is present. The friend supervises the exercise to prevent injury if she/he has a seizure.

Activities like scuba diving, rock climbing, skydiving, hang gliding, and mountain climbing should be avoided by individuals with uncontrolled seizures. These sports require full concentration, and any episode of loss of consciousness may lead to injury and possible death.

Recreation, water and contact sports safety tips:

  • Always have a “buddy” for activities that require considerable exertions that are likely to cause injury.
  • Take frequent breaks and drink plenty of water.
  • Wear protective clothing (elbow or knee pads, helmet, protective eyeglasses or goggles) whenever possible.
  • When bike riding, avoid busy streets; ride on bike paths or side streets.
  • Always wear a medic alert bracelet or necklace or carry a medic alert card.
  • At least one person participating in the activity or observing it should be aware of the possibility of seizures and know basic life-saving techniques. 
  • Always wear a high-quality, properly fitted life vest when near the water to help prevent drowning.

Recreational activities are very important for socializing and happiness. Achieving the balance between a safe life and an active life is possible by just making a few adjustments in sports activities.

For more information contact Karen Robinson at 021 595 4900 or email socdev.no@epilepsy.org.za

(Picture used with the courtesy of freefoto.com)


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