Welcome to Lonwabo’s Back to School Shop!

Help us give disabled children the best possible educational start in life!

Donate towards the specialised and educational items young people at Lonwabo Special Needs Day Care need to thrive. All donors can use the Snapscan or PayFast donation links to the right (requires a credit or debit card). 

Lonwabo’s Back to School list of needs 

Lonwabo is moving to a new building. Please have a look at our Lonwabo_s-Back-to-School-shopping-list to see how you can assist through donations of money and items. Gently used physiotherapy equipment is gratefully received. Please contact [email protected]   

Read more about Lonwabo

The issue

Few parents can afford the specialised equipment required for their children and the repair costs should it break. Help us make sure each child has what they need, when they need it and open up the ability for them to be mobile. If you read books by people such as Josh Barry who has Cerebral Palsy, you will realise the crucial role that “support” plays in enabling children with special needs to reach their real potential. Properly equipped facilities in township communities are extremely rare in South Africa – help us change that. 

Introducing Lonwabo Special Care Day Centre

Lonwabo Special Care Day Centre in Mfuleni is managed by Principal Thandeka Mafila. Thandeka embarked on her calling to care for, and educate, children with profound and severe physical and mental disabilities after hearing an inspirational interview on the radio in 2008 by Lindela in Khayelitsha. Her plea for someone to reach out and help special needs children in Mfuleni touched Thandeka’s heart – it was her defining moment. From these humble beginnings, Lonwabo Centre has grown into a facility that lovingly caters for 38 children between 0 and 18 years of age. It is the only centre of its kind in Mfuleni, providing essential support to parents with special needs children living in the poverty-stricken communities surrounding Mfuleni as well. As a result, the demand for places is very high. For more information, click www.startingchance.org.za/lonwabo/ 

For Lonwabo to flourish sustainably into the future, they will need more specialised training so that they can win and retain registration and licensing, both of which potentially release subsidies 

Additional support for Lonwabo is still required: 

  1. Funds and donations in-kind toward construction of Phase 1: Lonwabo Special Care Day Centre for 35 to 40 children. Construction of the campus will be in two phases. Phase 1 will deliver 3 classrooms for Lonwabo and the Health Care Facility. Phase 2 will deliver 2 classrooms for Lonwabo to increase capacity to 60 children, the Early Childhood Development Centre for 180 children, multi-purpose hall and admin block. These are the main aspects for which additional funding is being sought: – funding shortfall for Phase 1 due to impact of Covid-19 on costs and construction of phase 2. In-kind-donations are being sought for: face bricks and brick pavers, sand and cement, civil engineering site preparation; specialised equipment for inclusive indoor and outdoor play; cement base for synthetic grass in outdoor play areas; furniture and fittings for classrooms and walkways; lighting and sound system for Lonwabo sensory room; security system for campus including camera surveillance required for licensing special care centres.
  2. Therapist support for children with special needs Regular access to expertise is another crucial element in the provision of support – for children with special needs nurturing their development and self belief is key to enabling growth. Help us increase access to important people with the ability to support Lonwabo children.
  3. Training and Development of Lonwabo Team In the past year, guided by the Starting Chance fieldworker team, Thandeka’s teachers and assistants have achieved remarkable progress. They are creating a stimulating environment in which children with severe and profound mental and physical disabilities are growing and flourishing. These are crucial steps in a change process that is preparing the Lonwabo team for a new beginning.Like many involved in township education, the team itself had few educational opportunities in their childhood, but they have passion and the gift of infinite patience as they work with the children.

More options to donate:

All donors can use the Snapscan or PayFast donation links at the top of the page (requires a credit or debit card).

Donors in South Africa:

Bank details for EFT payments:

  • First National Bank
  • Current Account 625 728 02504
  • Hout Bay Branch (Universal Code 250655)
       (this is generally the most cost-effective option for us) 

Kindly reference your donation with your name.

Note: all donations are eligible in South Africa for tax-deductibility under section 18A. Contact us to request a receipt.

If you wish the funds to be used for a specific project, drop us an email to let us know.

If you wish to set up a regular debit order using givengain.com.

Donors outside South Africa:

  • globalgiving.org
    • recommended for US citizens – you will receive a tax-deductible receipt, and for
    • taxpayers in the UK – by using this service, we will benefit from the Gift Aid scheme.
  • currenciesdirect.com
    • this is a very cost-effective and efficient option for UK and EU residents.
    • note: this option does not qualify for any tax benefits for donor or Starting Chance
  • SWIFT electronic transfer to our inward-SWIFT bank account:

Mercantile Bank
Branch Code: 450905
Account # 4000594710
Account Name: Starting Chance Trust

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