Welcome to 2010

In Uncategorized on June 15, 2010 at 7:01 am
Dear ReadersI wish you a happy and blessed 2010 and hope that you will remain a supporter of our organisation throughout this year and many more to come. We look forward to joining the rest of our country in the Soccer World Cup events which will certainly be a highlight both in South Africa and the media.

Every year the National Office and Branches of Epilepsy South Africa develop business plans and budgets, detailing the work we plan to implement during the year ahead and the costs of each activity and service. Our financial year starts on 1 April each year until 31 March of the following year. At the present moment we are therefore busy completing the last three months of our current financial year and gearing up to implement our 2010/2011 business plan from 1 April 2010.

The services detailed in our business plans are developed based on direct needs of our clients. These are obtained through needs assessments, discussions, meetings and liaising. However, if you find that our organisation is not rendering a service which you think is vitally important to people with epilepsy and / or other disabilities, please contact us and let us discuss the need for such a service.

The programmes are discussed as a submission below. Added to the programme implementation we will also focus on continued networking and liaison with identified role-players to strengthen our service delivery nationally.

We also share specific dates with you to diarize. We are sure to inform you of many more events and important dates throughout the year which should prove interesting.

May 2010 be a truly fantastic year for all of you!

With thanks
Noëline de Goede

January E-news Contents:

The National Office Programmes for 2010 and beyondThe National Office Programmes for 2010 and beyond

(by the National Director, Noeline de Goede)

During 2010 the focus of the National Office will be:

  • Marketing: In marketing we will focus on continued and increased marketing of Epilepsy South Africa, our services, projects and programmes at a national level.
  • Fundraising: We are proud to announce that Mr. Wynand du Toit joined the National Office personnel on 4 January 2010 as our National Office Fundraiser.  We hope to increase our funds through developing and implementing new fundraising initiatives.
  • Social development: We will continue our development of service points in under-serviced provinces and hope to open a new Branch for direct services in the Eastern Cape during 2010. A critical focal area of our social development programme will be advocacy and we hope to successfully train several people with epilepsy to act as self-advocates within South Africa. We will also focus on increased epilepsy awareness, youth development, the formation of a youth forum, counselling, advice, information and appropriate referrals.
  • Economic empowerment: We will continue implementation of our very successful entrepreneurial development programme, as well as our income generation training, SMME development and training manual development. Our vision is to ensure economic independence for all people with epilepsy and we make this a reality for a small percentage of people with epilepsy and / or other disabilities through our economic empowerment programme. We aim to increase the percentage of beneficiaries through the implementation of our Training-of-Trainers programmes, which allows information and skills to be cascaded to more beneficiaries at community level. During 2010 we will also implement a youth-focused economic empowerment programme, as well as focus on employment equity for people with disabilities within the open labour market and specifically government.
  • Skills development: Through our skills development programme we ensure that all personnel and volunteers are adequately skilled to ensure quality service delivery. We fully comply with skills development legislation.
  • Organisational development / Governance: We are proud to announce that we will launch our new statistical database system during 2010 which will enable us to produce accurate statistical (qualitative and quantitative) records on outputs achieved. I want to thank DVT for their assistance in developing this system for us.  During 2010 we will also continue implementation of our Good Governance programme, which includes revision of our policies, procedures, constitution and regulations. We will continue to recruit Board members as required and training on good governance will also be implemented.


National Office Diary of Events for 2010National Office Diary of Events for 2010

  •  22 – 23 March 2010: National strategic planning meeting
  • 24 – 26 March 2010: National Directors’ meeting
  • 27 March 2010: National Board meeting
  • 21 June 2010: National Epilepsy Day
  • 21 – 27 June 2010: National Epilepsy Week
  • 3 September 2010: Casual Day
  • October 2010: Enduro cycle tour commence.
  • 28 October 2010 : National Wine Auction
  • 3 December 2010 : International Day for Persons with Disabilities


Dr Potgieter visits the South Cape Karoo Dr Potgieter visits the South Cape Karoo 

 (Epilepsy South Africa South Cape Karoo)1 – 12 MARCH 2010

Monday, 1 MARCH:
8.30: Heidelberg Clinic
11.00: Albertinia Clinic

7.30 Talk: Doctors at Provincial Hospital
9.00: Eyethu Clinic
13.00: Alma Clinic

Wednesday, 3 MARCH
9.00: Thembalethu Clinic, George
14.00: Sedgefield Clinic

8.30: Day Hospital
13.30: The Crags Clinic

7.30 Talk: Doctors at Provincial Hospital
8.30: Out – patients at the residential facility of EPILEPSY SA.

Saturday, 6 MARCH, KNYSNA
8.00-10.00: Monitor the medication of the residents at the residential facility of EPILEPSY SA

Monday, 8 MARCH
8.30: Zoar Clinic
13.30: Calitzdorp Clinic

8.00: Bridgton Clinic

7.30 Talk: Doctors, Provincial Hospital.
9.00: Bridgton Clinic: Farm patients and Bongolethu patients
12.00: Dysselsdorp Day Hospital

8.00: Beaufort –West Day Hospital (all day)

9.00: Murraysburg Clinic (all day)


Let's be happy in 2010:Let’s be happy in 2010:

 (by Anthea Emmanual, Western Cape Branch of Epilepsy South Africa)

Epilepsy South Africa Western Cape would like to take this opportunity to welcome everyone back into the New Year of 2010! We hope that everyone had a relaxed, exquisite festive season and that you are looking forward to the New Year.

In opening the New Year we would like to share the following quote to set off the exciting 2010!

John Ruskin said, “In order that people may be happy in their work, these three things are needed: They must be fit for it. They must not do too much of it. And they must have a sense of success in it.”


Our heroes of 2010!Our heroes of 2010!

 (by Wynand du Toit, Epilepsy South Africa National Office Fundraiser)

With 2010 kicking off as a fantastic year for all sporting codes in South Africa, it is with excited expectation that we look forward to an opportunity to showcase South Africans as positive ambassadors, not only to the Soccer World Cup, but also of a really diverse people filled with heroes of positive endurance.

At Epilepsy South Africa, one of the greatest privileges of working with people with epilepsy and other disabilities is to regularly discover the hidden heroes within our communities. People facing enormous challenges every day and still living positively, working hard to make life just that little bit easier for others in need. We all know of the celebrities that proved this possible, but we often do not realize the heroes are also among us.

Epilepsy South Africa aims to partner with these individuals that live their lives to the full, many of them diagnosed with epilepsy themselves. With the Pick ‘n Pay Cape Argus cycle tour just around the corner, we are excited about the opportunity presented to us by one of our local heroes, Steven Densum.

Steven lives in Welkom and is a person with Epilepsy that overcame every obstacle in his way since he was diagnosed. He has decided to partner with Epilepsy South Africa in creating awareness and raising much-needed funds through the Backabuddy system and by participating in the Argus on 14 March. More cyclists are supporting our cause and we would especially like to thank our chairman, Tim de Villiers and his wife Caroline, as well as Charl van Rooyen for making themselves available on the Backabuddy system.

Please help us to see how much these heroes can raise together in this fun. The current combined target is set at R22, 000 that will be utilised for increased service delivery to people with epilepsy and other disabilities. Visit the Backabuddy site and make a donation by sponsoring either or all of our cyclists. Challenge the people you know to do the same.   Know that the need is real, and the need is now. Epilepsy South Africa is entirely dependant on initiatives like these to sustain our services. Know that you are helping people with epilepsy and other disabilities turn obstacles into true potential through your involvement.

Which one will you support, Steven , Tim and Caroline , or Charl ?

If you are interested in becoming more involved in making a change in people’s lives, whether as a sponsor, donor or volunteer, please contact me so that I can show you how easy it is to become a hero of 2010 yourself.


Funding partners makes a difference!Funding partners makes a difference!

 (By Tertius Meyer, Epilepsy South Africa Free State)

Since Gary Westwood became the director of Epilepsy South Africa, it has been a dream of his that we can go on the road with new and reliable vehicles. It became clearer and clearer that our current transport was not reliable, especially with deteriorating road conditions. The Venture that we are using has 908 000 km on the clock. When taking this high mileage and the area that we cover (the whole of the Free State and the North West Province) into consideration you can understand that we need more and new vehicles.

Our thanks go to the National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund for sponsoring three new vehicles and the DG Murray Trust in Cape Town for donating the Double Cab for our Home Based Care program. We are now able to do our work in safe and trustworthy vehicles. We also received money to buy three scooters for the Home Based Care work. These vehicles go a long way in ensuring quality service delivery, safety for the staff and a saving on the budget. Thank you National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund and DG Murray Trust for supporting us so that we can start this year on such a positive note.


Outeniqua wheelchair challenge.Outeniqua wheelchair challenge.

 (By Epilepsy South Africa, South Cape Karoo)

We are awaiting the 2010 Outeniqua Wheelchair Challenge which is due to take place in George on Saturday 20 February with great excitement. A team of 8 athletes from The Crags will take part in the event and their fellow Group of Hope club members will accompany the team to cheer them on.
Residents from the Epilepsy SA Centre attend the OWC every year where they act as volunteer marshalls.

This event started out with only 27 participants in 2002 and has grown into a major competition attracting international athletes. Last year’s race took place in pouring rain but this did not deter the brave athletes and their supporters who simply enjoyed taking over the streets of George to show what they were capable of.

If you are in the South Cape on 20 February do come to this spectacular event.


Seperation and ChildrenSeperation and Children

 (By Karen Robinson National Office Social Development Manager)

Like any other child, children with epilepsy can also experience separation anxiety. Here are some tips to handle it”

At some point, most of us have been witness to a painful scene: A child’s separation-anxiety meltdown. It goes something like this: A three-year-old cries “Don’t leave me here! I wanna go hooome!” as his/her frazzled mother/father attempts to loosen the iron grip she/he managed to establish on her/his leg. Clearly, no amount of lighthearted “won’t-today-be-fun” banter on the drive to preschool had managed to stave off this episode. As parents we need to prepare ourselves and our children and therefore we probably dared to believe she/he was prepared, hoping against hope for a nonchalant kiss on the cheek and breezy wave goodbye. But nope, as this is very traumatic for parents and the child you’ll find yourselves in an octopus-like clutch and a lot crying of a child (parents) with separation anxiety. Most of us can relate to or identify with the scenario described above, especially with our children being enrolled for the first time in daycare or preschool. Due to work obligations, we as parents also have to leave them when attending meetings, courses or training in other provinces or countries.

Although a strong relationship with parents helps children to cope with their anxiety as the time for goodbyes approaches, first “big” separations can be challenging for child and parent alike. As soon as babies have the capacity to remember a parent, beginning at approximately seven months of age, many children weep as though they’ve been eternally forsaken when mom or dad walks out the door. Toddlers cling koala-like to their mothers when they sense her imminent departure.

Separation fears may be more intense in children who are temperamentally “slow-to-warm-up” and have difficulty making transitions or entering new situations. They can experience a variety of emotions such as anger, guilt, jealousy, confusion, hurt, and fear. Preschool children may regress to outgrown behaviour like whining, crying, and bed-wetting, or may become more aggressive and demanding. So what can be done to minimize the chance that your child will suffer from fears of seperation?

Parents often feel guilty and distressed about their child’s natural reaction to a separation and may unwittingly prolong and reinforce a separation reaction. There are two ways in which a parent can go wrong here: By leaving too soon and by not leaving soon enough. You walk a fine line, and choosing the perfect moment to make your move can be tricky. But whatever you do, be sure to say goodbye. Don’t just sneak out as soon as your child’s attention is diverted. On the other hand, don’t linger. Reassure your preschooler through your words and your actions that everything will be fine in your absence and that you will come back for him/her soon.

A favourite toy or blanket can help your child feel more confident and secure. Research shows that children who are given “transitional objects” cry less when they are separated from their parents. These children are also able to explore their environment more actively and focus on and learn new tasks better than children not in possession of a favourite item.

Suggestions for Parents

  • Before you leave, tell the child you are going, and mention when you will return. It may help to say something like “…and I’ll pick you up at 11 o’clock just like last week” to enable her to imagine the duration of her separation from you. In order to bear being apart, a child must know that the parent will return.
  • After you say you are leaving, go! If you linger because of the child’s whining, then you are teaching your child that whining is an effective way to get what he/she wants.
  • Expressing affection for your child is appropriate, but separation is made more difficult if you, the parent, verbally or non-verbally express ambivalence, guilt, worry, or uncertainty about leaving the child. Be confident! The parent’s emotional response to separation is a common cause of the child’s emotional response.
  • Practice with brief separations first. Show your child that you return reliably.
  • Don’t be late picking your child up! Be on time, or even a little early. Children can get very distressed, feeling abandoned if all the other children have been picked up and they’re “left alone.”
  • Provide a consistent routine that children can count on, and stick with it. Most adults feel more secure when they know what’s going to happen next. Children have an even greater need for routine.
  • Allow children some time to get accustomed to new people. Kids feel more secure when they know and trust their caregivers. If your child is slow to adapt to new situations, she/he may even need a few weeks to transition. Patience is key.
  • Separation anxiety is normal; to children, separation is the most threatening of all situations. On rare occasions, however, it may be a red flag that there’s a problem that you should know about. Talk to your child and your daycare provider about what your child experiences at daycare. Perhaps she/he gets teased by other children or is afraid of the class’ pet guinea pig. Maybe she/he thinks the teacher looks like mean Uncle Albert! Whatever the cause, when separation anxiety persists it makes sense for you to be proactive and address the problem.
  • Never threaten a child with separation. Parents sometimes resort to threatening little children with “going away” in order to frighten them into better behaviour. It’s true that this often results in some improvement in the child’s conduct, since the possibility of losing a parent is so upsetting that he will do anything to avoid it. But these threats may also produce extreme anxiety in the child. Basically this kind of threat tells the child that you would be willing and able to leave him at any time. Bad behaviour, he realizes, might cause him to lose his parents forever. Better for the child to be confident that he can count on your love and support through thick and thin.

To Sum It Up
Be patient and thorough when explaining the reason for your departure to your child. Doing so can help her/him feel confident that you will return, and that she/he hasn’t done anything “bad” to make you leave. Because young children lack a real understanding of cause and effect, they may not be clear on points that you consider obvious. If your child does regress to outgrown behaviour, you may need to adjust your expectations and standards. Strive to establish a consistent routine. Pay particular attention to basic needs such as sleep, meals and exercise. Your child needs to feel that you are dependable, that she/he can count on you to do as you say you will. Use separations as opportunities to build the level of trust between you.


Motivating momentsMotivating moments

By Karen Robinson (National Office Social Development Manager)


Happiness is like a gift that needs to be unwrap. I would like to focus on 12 steps that you can follow to increase your happiness. Personally for me happiness is a sense of wellbeing or satisfaction with you life!!

1 TAKE A PASS ON PERFECTION: The notion that we should “have it all” often leads to increase pressure. We are constantly striving for such a hard-to-reach goal- wanting to be star employee and a great friend etc. This can backfire if you blame yourself when you fall short. Striving for constant contentment is equally unrealistic. If you think you should feel happy nearly all the time, it’s going to make you miserable. The answer is to MANAGE YOUR EXPECTATIONS. The downside of feeling happy most of the time is that you expect to feel that way all the time. So when good things happen, it’s normal, but when bad things happen, it seem catastrophic.

2 BALANCE FUN AND MEANING: Fun without meaning (think body massages) and meaning without fun (frantically working overtime to meet a deadline)- and that happiness comes from some combination of the two. If you constantly choose fun without meaning, you are likely to feel empty inside. If you too often focus on lofty goals, you could wind up depleted and resentful.

3 DON’T TRY TO BUY HAPPINESS: Sure, money helps, especially in these difficult times of increases of inflation, petrol and food prizes. A nationwide US study published last year in Social Indicators Research found that those avidly pursued possessions were less satisfied with their friendships, families, jobs-even their health-than those who were less materialistic.

4 TRY SOMETHING NEW :Exploring a new interest is entertaining and may lead you to discover other activities over time.

5 GET LOST: If you are feeling unhappy, try to find a flow (state of effortless concentration and enjoyment). Do any activity that energises you and make you feel though time is flying- or even makes you lose track of it- will make you happy e.g. reading a book or taking a relaxing bath.

6 KEEP TRACK OF THE GOOD STUFF : One way to feel happier is to recognise good things when they happen. If you have trouble counting your blessings, try to keep a gratitude journal. Several studies show that people who record what they appreciate experience greater happiness and less anxiety-even better sleep. Gratitude is also an excellent antidote to grumpiness.

7 SHARE THE LOVE: Contented people’s happiness experiences most involved connecting with someone. The fastest way to improve your relationships is to set time aside inviolable time for them.


9 CHOOSE TO CHOOSE LESS: Too much choice can cause anxiety and lead people to self blame if their decisions don’t turn out well as they had expected. LEARN TO ACCEPT GOOD-ENOUGH OPTIONS.

10 INTRODUCE YOUR BODY TO YOUR MIND: You can increase happiness just by articulating it. So get your body involved when your feeling good.

11 BE MORE FORGIVING: So how do you let go of anger and resentment towards others? Take into account the stresses that contributed to the wrong doer’s behaviour. Remember the person’s positive traits and consider requesting an apology. If you motivation starts to falter keep in mind that forgiving is really a gift you give yourself.

12 PICK OUT THE POSITIVES: Many people say things happen for the best. I do not agree with that but some people are able to make the best of the things that happen- and that is a key to happiness. One way to do this is by reframing your thoughts.


Close 2009 and open 2010The festive season has come and gone and everybody at Epilepsy Mpumalanga enjoyed a safe and peaceful holiday. The organization’s administrative offices and other projects closed on the 11th December 2009 and re-opened on 11 January 2010.

The residents and day workers from Sakhelwe visited their families over the festive season. Unfortunately about 23 of the residents remained in the centre over the holiday period.
On 27 November 2009 the staff members of Elandsdoorn and Dullstroom centres were once again invited to tea, hosted by Mariana in her beautiful garden, for our end of the year function.

On 6 December 2009 we had our annual closing function for residents, with the ladies from Helping Hands treating the residents to a sumptuous meal – a truly South African braai with salads and a tempting Christmas trifle as dessert. The residents were all very excited as this was also the day that they put up a wonderful stage production organised by all the Dullstroom staff. The variety concert was enjoyed by the ladies of Helping Hands and kept them talking about it all through the holidays. It was a closing function to remember.

We were fortunate to end a very busy year with a beautiful wedding at our centre of two of our own residents – Harry Van Der Merwe and Aletta Le Roux took the brave plunge into holy matrimony!! Harry’s sister put on a great spread and all the staff were involved in decorating the hall and the tables. The wedding party was small and intimate and attending the wedding was a very special way to end of 2009.

The first week back at work proved to be challenging as all the projects started getting their respective houses in order and putting plans in place for 2010. There is a definite energy as we at Epilepsy Mpumalanga are looking forward to a promising year and a very exciting one as we are heading towards the FIFA World Cup Soccer event that is finally here!

Finally we are also fortunate to have another person in our Fundraising and Marketing department, Riette O’Grady joined us on 12 January 2010 and her contact details are as follows:
013 254 0161, 082 8238 289, rogrady@mweb.co.za.

(by Epilepsy South Africa Mpumalanga/Limpopo)

The Dome Business Hub The Dome Business Hub (by Epilepsy South Africa Free State North West)No organization can make a difference in the lives of a growing client base without expanding their services to meet the growing needs within the community.

One of the greatest needs in our area of operation, where poverty is high, is the creation of opportunities for self-employment for people, especially those with a disability.

Recently, through a partnership formed with Internet Solutions, a division of Dimension Data and Chemcity, a wholly owned subsidiary of Sasol Chemical Industries, we were able to open the doors of a new shop called “The Dome Business Hub”.

The main purpose of the shop is to be a hub of activity promoting BBBEE initiatives that will benefit previously disadvantaged persons and people with disabilities. Through this project we have created opportunities for 136 people.

Come and enjoy a nice cup of coffee whilst watching the beneficiaries make soap and candles, in a unique modern ‘Township Chic’ setting. We have a wide variety of coffees just for you, that are prepared by coffee barristers trained at the Coffee Academy in Johannesburg. At the same time you can enjoy the talent of local artists that decorate the walls. This Hub is a tourist’s delight where a variety of arts and crafts are available!!

This wonderful gem of a shop is situated at the entrance to Parys as you enter from the R59 from Sasolburg.


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