Ten intellectually disabled students have received the chance to transform their lives and build a better future. In a partnership between non-profit organisation The Living Link and Engen, these students have commenced a year-long ‘Adult Integration Programme’ aimed at integrating them into society, both in the work place and their communities.
Engen donated R564 000 at an official ceremony held at The Living Link Centre in Parkhurst, Gauteng on June 13th, 2017.
The Living Link Managing Director, Stanley Bawden says that they will also make every effort to place the graduates in the workplace on completion of their training in November. “We strive to place our graduates in ordinary working environments, doing regular work and where salaries and benefits are real and reflect their work performance.”
Engen Corporate Social Investment Manager, Mntu Nduvane says that due to the fact that disability affects a comparatively small percentage of the population, it remains traditionally underfunded. “As we enter youth month, Engen is mindful that this is a key area of need which is why we have moved to assist young adults living with disabilities and their families.”
It is for this reason that Engen have extended their CSI focus areas, which previously included education, health and safety, and the environment, to include support of Persons with Disabilities. “These are all closely aligned to the country’s national imperatives and address key issues in our business, society and government,” adds Nduvane.
The ‘Adult Integration Programme’ focuses on employment orientation, personal empowerment, lifestyle management and community survival. It also includes students doing job sampling. The Living Link also provides ongoing job coaching and training to both employer and employee.
“Everybody in our country has a role to play in enhancing the lives of all citizens especially those that are marginalised through disability. Our partnership with Engen will go a long way in helping to upskill and ultimately aid these disabled young adults to find employment and become contributing members of society,” adds Bawden.
“By working together with The Living Link we hope to forge a future that is inclusive of all people; where the marginalised have the opportunity to work, and where conditions are created for dreams to be achieved and a brighter future for all South Africans to be manifested,” says Nduvane.