Archive for March, 2011|Monthly archive page

Vacancy available at Epilepsy South Africa

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2011 at 2:17 pm

Epilepsy South Africa National Office is a Non-Profit organisation dedicated to enhancing the quality of life of people living with and affected by epilepsy and other disabilities.

Position available:
Eastern Cape Co-ordinator

Location of Post:
Epilepsy South Africa Satellite Office in Eastern Cape

Post Requirements:
Tertiary qualifications in one or more of the following:

  • Social Work (Registration with the S.A Council for Social Service Professional)
  • Development studies
  • SMME development

Experience in:

  • Management
  • Office and service development
  • Networking and liaison with other NPO’s, CBO’s, Government Departments
  • Fundraising
  • Service planning and implementation
  • Business plan development
  • Advocacy
  • Awareness and training
  • Monitoring and Evaluation

Additional skills:

  • Strategic thinking
  • Good communication and interpersonal skills
  • Commitment towards empowerment, skills development and poverty alleviation
  • Code 08 driver’s license
  • Computer Literacy
  • Knowledge on local social welfare environment and entrepreneurial development
  • Speak, read and write isiXhosa and English


Closing Date:
15 April 2011


Applicants are requested to please forward their CV’s to Karen Robinson.

E-mail: socdev.no@epilepsy.org.za


Fax (021) 595 4901


Please note that only shortlisted candidates will be contacted.

If you did not receive any feedback by 19 April you may deem your application as unsuccessful.


Epilepsy SA Newsletter – March 2011

In Uncategorized on March 31, 2011 at 2:13 pm

Dear Readers

With the State of the National Address and National Budget Speech clearly focussing on job creation and economic empowerment, I am happy to state that Epilepsy South Africa has already been focussing on economic empowerment since 2005. With the heavy thrust from Government in this area, we will hopefully see much more being done to create employment for people with disabilities in South Africa as well. As an organisation, we commit ourselves to work with Government to specifically highlight the needs of people with epilepsy and other disabilities.

In this month’s newsletter, you will read about the exciting events taking place across South Africa; from the first Epilepsy and Human Rights Advocacy Conference that took place in Stellenbosch, to the Sandscapes fundraising event hosted by the Western Cape Branch, a golf day and a cabaret being hosted by Mpumalanga Branch, a Valentines dinner for the residents at the care centre of the Free State Branch and the Special Olympics that the Mpumalanga clients participated in.

We also share basic information about seizure management in the new Epilepsy Facts Corner, which is a new addition to our electronic newsletter. If you have specific topics that you would like us to cover in our Epilepsy Facts Corner, please let us know by e-mailing socdev.no@epilepsy.org.za

If you wish to become more involved with our organisation, please contact your closest Epilepsy SA Branch by phoning 0860 EPILEPSY (0860 374537) or contact the National Office at tel no. 021 – 595 4900.

Noëline de Goede

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Building True Potential Campaign – February, a month of THANK YOU’S!

Building True Potential Campaign – February, a month of THANK YOU’S! With the launch of the Building True Potential Campaign during January at the National Office, we focused predominantly on three initiatives, namely an appeal to churches and community clubs; the Kruger Rand raffle; and the Building Bricks project. With expectations set realistically during this time of the year we were pleasantly surprised by the response we received! February was a month filled with goodwill, support and contributions from so many different people, companies and communities.

Acknowledgement and Thanks!

For the Building Bricks Project  http://www.epilepsy.org.za/nationaloffice/fundraising/index.php we would like to thank:

Lee-Ann du Toit, Oscar Cupido, Marietjie Scannell, Raakesh & Nirusha Sebnath, Amy Thomson, Charl van Niekerk, Ben de Goede, Tim de Villiers, Nokukhanya Sikhosana, Judy Young and the Lions Clubs of Fish Hoek, Sue Charles and the Lions Club of Kirstenbosch, Malcolm & Annette Thomson and Noëline de Goede.

To date, we have sold a total of 33 bricks. Thank you, once again, to all our contributors! To view their individual contributions and to see who is the top brick-layer, please visit the Scoreboard  http://www.epilepsy.org.za/nationaloffice/fundraising/score.php on our website.

Construction continues

For only R250, you can have your name displayed on the Walls of True Potential, while supporting our services to people with epilepsy and other disabilities. Please visit the Building Bricks Project  http://www.epilepsy.org.za/nationaloffice/fundraising/index.php and decide which one of the Walls you would like to support.

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A Kruger Rand for R20!

A Kruger Rand for R20! The Kruger Rand raffle is well under way with lots of potential winners buying their opportunities to become the next owner of a full, 1 oz Kruger Rand, a Campmaster™ trailer (for that overload on the long road) and a set of his & hers Fossil™ watches! This truly is a Huge Reward for a small donation! The official draw date has been extended to coincide with National Epilepsy Day on 21 June.

To buy your raffle tickets for R20 donations and stand a chance of winning one of these fantastic prizes, contact truepotential@epilepsy.org.za, phone (021) 595-4900, or visit our raffle page on BidorBuy (click here).

Acknowledgement and Thanks!

Thank You to all who already purchased their raffle tickets, especially those on BidorBuy who bought multiple tickets to expand their chances in the draw.
A big thank you to Laerskool Simon van der Stel in Wynberg who supports the Kruger Rand Raffle by participating in ticket sales during May, and our appreciation to those individuals that are selling tickets on our behalf. All of you are helping us to achieve real impact on the lives of people with epilepsy and other disabilities in South Africa.

Get even more involved! If you have access to a place of distribution, are involved in a school outreach committee or want to volunteer to help sell the raffle tickets, please contact us at truepotential@epilepsy.org.za.

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You can affect change today

As loyal readers of our electronic newsletter, the Building True Potential Campaign gives you the opportunity to play your part in securing equal opportunities for people living with epilepsy. Please support this momentous drive and forward this campaign http://www.epilepsy.org.za/nationaloffice/fundraising/index.php to your friends, family, colleagues and Facebook contacts and know that today, you have made a difference.

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NEWS FROM THE MPUMALANGA & LIMPOPO BRANCH Renovations on the Dullstroom residential care centre’s kitchen are well underway, with the tiling of the floor nearly complete and work on the kitchen cabinets having been started. Watch his space for a monthly update until the project is completed.

The first Special Olympics sports event was held on 3 February 2011 at Belfast Platorand. Here, 25 of our Dullstroom residents competed. They took part in seven-a-side soccer, floor hockey, table tennis, volley ball and bocce. For those not familiar with these events, bocce (also known as bocce ball) is an Italian variety of lawn bowling, played on a dirt court that is shorter and narrower than the rink of a bowling green. This sport belongs to the boules sport family and derives its name from the plural of the Italian word boccia which means ball. Floor hockey is a family of indoor hockey games played on flat floor surfaces (e.g. a basketball court). Each team attempts to shoot a ball or puck into a goal using sticks, usually with a curved end.

The same athletes will be competing on 17 March in Witbank at Thanduxolo Special School. We are very proud of them and wish them the best of luck with the Special Olympic calendar for 2011.

This year, we embarked on a special project for our residents – an entrepreneurs’ challenge. We will be selling the first of their products at the Plat Du Jour flea market on 26 February. The residents are working in small groups and are busy with various activities, from baking koeksisters to selling raffles for start-up capital, French knitting, making dolls’ clothes and picture frames.

On 19 March, we will be hosting a cabaret evening at the Epilepsy recreation Hall in Dullstroom. The band, Notes Unlimited, will be entertaining us with songs from the 60’s, 70’s and 80’s. Please contact us if you are interested in attending this fundraiser.

Lastly, we want to remind all our loyal friends about our annual golf day on 12 March 2011, hosted together with Goggabies Nursery School at the Highland Gate golf course, just east of Dullstroom. Please support us at this event!

For more information on any of our activities and events, please contact Riette or Elsa at the fundraising and marketing office on (013) 254-0161.

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NEWS FROM THE FREE STATE & NORTH WEST BRANCH Contract Teach Residents Hand Skills

Our Branch started a new contract in December 2010 to manufacture Fish Strops for Stevenson’s Fishing Tackle in Parys. What is marvellous about this contract? Not only are we earning an income, but the people working on the contract learned new skills, improved their hand movement and can take pride in their work. With each new “model” made, their self-image improves. The smiles on their faces says it all!

“It takes concentration to tie the knots, but it is very much like the embroidery and beadwork that I do,” was the words of Nellie Loggenberg.

We are proud of the good work people are doing and wish them the strength that they need. Well done!!!

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Valentine’s dinner for residents

Valentine’s dinner for residents February is the month of love with Valentine’s Day celebrated on the 14th. Thanks to the generosity of the community and a lot of hard work from the staff, we were able to treat our residents to their own Valentine’s dinner. With “braaivleis” and lots of food, they were able to enjoy the special evening. Dancing and gifts made their evening even more romantic and special.

Thank you to every member of the community that gave a donation so that we could make this happen!

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SANDSCAPES 2011 was more than just Fun in the Sun

We would like to thank all 400 invited guests who participated, contributed and attended our Sandscapes sandcastle and fun event held on Sunday, 13 February at Surfers Corner, Muizenberg Beach. The event was a huge marketing exercise and over a hundred people walking the beach showed interest and enquired about our services.

By all accounts, it was certainly a great day out! Our special guests, the youth in Cape Town, were kept busy – from face painting to jumping castle activities to more high level sports activities, such as calypso cricket and beach soccer. Not to forget about their participation in the inter-school/homes sandcastle building competition. Marsh Memorial won the sandcastle competition for the 2nd year running!

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W.CAPE – SANDCASTLE BUILDING The formal sandcastle building began in earnest with the corporate Maitland and family and friends groups. The sandcastles were impressive and definitely set the standard for future Sandscapes castles. This year the family and friends trophy went to Epilepsy South Africa’s National Office and the top Maitland team won in the corporate section.

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W.CAPE – CORPORATE WINNERS The public was entertained by up-and-coming DJ, Lance de Kock, and the impressive MC, Carl Waisty from GoodHope FM. Our guest speaker for the day, Marlene le Roux, caught the imagination of the crowd with an inspiring and motivating opening speech.

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W.CAPE – MOTIVATIONAL SPEAKER Sandscapes would not have been possible without sponsors and partners and we would like to thank Maitland Group, Touareg Tents, KFC, the City of Cape Town, GoodHope FM, Regal Rental, False Bay College, Sporting Chance, ETA, Roxy Surf School, SIP, Shiraan Watson jumping castles and Sanlam.

For further information on Sandscapes and other events, go to www.epilepsyevents.org or simply LIKE us on Facebook! You may also visit our Epilepsy South Africa website for further information on our services (www.epilepsy.org.za).

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Health and Wellness Week

The theme for this year’s Health and Wellness Week was Compliance.

A campaign was launched by short talks on compliance at our community health care centres and tertiary hospitals. A seizure diary was issued to all epilepsy clients attending the talk. Many people highlighted the value of talking about their medication and how to manage it correctly and further campaigns of this nature were encouraged for the future.

During this campaign, we took our epilepsy lifestyle management and compliance talk to Pollsmoor Prison, where we held very interactive group sessions with the juvenile offenders of the male section. We reached a total of 133 offenders through this initiative.


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AN EPIC CONFERENCE! BY KIM SWARTZ (CONFERENCE DELEGATE FROM PORT ELIZABETH) Some delegates expected to make new friends, others wanted knowledge or to simply meet someone who knew how they felt.

Well, if the Epilepsy Advocacy and Human Rights Conference held in Stellenbosch from 22 to 24 February 2011 is anything to go by, they were all wrong! The truth is, we received way more. In all honesty, no Mercedes Benz, Manolo Blaniks or Rolex could ever compare.

There are no words that could begin to describe the tremendous comfort felt by all who attended; to have their feelings and their experiences heard, acknowledged and understood. And were they understood? Absolutely! In a way that only people who have had those same experiences, hurt and fears could understand.

The Conference started off with guest speakers, like Michael Bagraim (Practising Managing Partner of Bagraim Attorneys), Marina Clarke (Deputy National Director of Epilepsy South Africa), Caroline Taylor (Client Support Officer for Inclusive Education in the Western Cape) and Nicole Ficks (Research Co-ordinator for the Learning Network). Not only did they hold the attention of all the delegates, but the wealth of information they offered us was empowering!

Speakers like Tim de Villiers, Kai Fichen, Xolisa Nkonyei and Ntandazo Mange, were inspiring and offered overwhelming motivation. Whereas Tim de Villiers lit a flame in each delegate currently in areas where support groups are being run, Kai Fichen inspired every delegate with his tales of literally climbing mountains in his journey with epilepsy. Something that struck me about his story is that the hike up the mountain has more emphasis than reaching the peak. He spoke about his journey with people from all over the world, finding the funds required, his frozen feet, setting the goal – and although reaching the peak was clearly an achievement for him, the struggle getting there held just as much merit.

The workshop and sessions on self advocacy and self image pointed out the same importance of the journey and struggle to get our voices heard – in fact the entire week did. The facilitators not only stressed the importance of our journey, their workshops did too.

All and all, it was a wonderful week and each delegate felt exceptionally special, as human beings. Not only did the sessions run smoothly (thanks to the facilitators), but the atmosphere allowed for much interaction and fun among the delegates. Karen Robinson (National Social Development Manager), you have put together a week and experience of gold that no wealthy man could ever afford, but only the pauper who sees the beauty of a rising sun and feels he has it all! Facilitators themselves expressed their sincere gratitude for the opportunity to have all branches finally getting together. Owena Schutte, from the South Cape/Karoo Branch in Knysna, said, “It was most rewarding, well organised and especially the small groups went well – they involved even shy participants. It was therapeutic to a number of guys who have never voiced their inner feelings about their condition before. A number of them mentioned painful memories from the past that had to be dealt with. All in all, a great success, from the venue and excellent catering to the caring atmosphere and feeling of belonging – knowing you are not alone.”

The accommodation was supreme, with woes attended to by staff who surpassed profession with warmth in all their services. Thank you, Epilepsy South Africa, for everything you have done for us: from plane tickets, accommodation, caring facilitators and knowledgeable speakers to ‘fabulicious’ meals!

As for the delegates themselves – not one forgot to mention their gratitude in meeting people who are also living with epilepsy. Did they see people who also made downright fools of themselves by dropping to the floor with the “shakes”? NO! We saw PEOPLE who confirmed that we, ourselves, are normal. As Teboho Class commented, “The conference was an extremely wonderful experience and it was great being with people who live with the same condition, who understand the pain I’m going through. I wish we could have a follow up conference or workshop. To all the friends I made, I would like to remind you not to underestimate yourself and don’t forget that nothing about us is special without each other.”

As the very first conference of its kind, it proved to be something needed and an abundant success that we all hope to repeat soon!

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Epilepsy Facts Corner

What is the best first aid for a seizure? Here are some tips if you or someone you love has epilepsy.

Always carry medical identification. If an emergency occurs, knowledge of your seizure disorder can help the people around you maintain your safety and provide the appropriate treatment.

Make sure your family, friends, and co-workers know what to do if you have a seizure.

Avoid potential dangers of high places or moving machinery at home, school, or work if you have active seizures. Though there is less risk if your seizures are under control, your attention should focus on the specific risks of certain activities (such as mowing, working around farm machinery, hot appliances, etc).

It is important for you to remain active, but participate in sports and other activities with caution. Avoid potentially dangerous activities, such as bathing, swimming, gymnastics, or mountain climbing without someone near by. Have another person with you who knows your seizure risk and is trained in life-saving techniques.

Activities such as baseball, bike riding, canoeing, horseback riding, or hockey can be made safer by wearing helmets and/or life jackets and by having another person with you.

If you are prescribed anticonvulsant medication, do not suddenly stop taking it or change the dosage without consulting your doctor. The type of anticonvulsant medication you are prescribed depends on the type of epilepsy you have, and the dose that is prescribed especially for you according to your weight, age, gender, and other factors.

Be alert to the risks of possible drug interactions between your anticonvulsant drugs and other medications you may take, including over-the-counter drugs. Always call your doctor or pharmacist if you are not sure what interactions could occur before taking any medication.

Avoid alcohol, as it can interfere with the effectiveness of your medication.

Source: http://www.webmd.com/epilepsy/guide/first-aid-seizures?page=2, 21 February 2011