Wenakker is a residential facility for the care of 250 intellectually disabled
adults in Lydenburg Mpumalanga. Established in Oct. 1969 by 6 concerned parents
and affiliated to the South African Federation for Mental Health. The
profoundly, old and severely disabled are cared for and stimulated in a safe and
secure environment. It’s a non profit organisation (NPO. 009 224) and depends on
government subsidies, family contributions and fundraising.
At the centre we occupy the residents with normal house chores, creativity
centre and recreation activities.
The centre has 10 houses with a live in housemother who take care of their
needs. In our High Care Unit we care for 110 profoundly intellectually disabled
adults, with 24/7 nursing staff. Here we provide sensory stimulation combined
with creativity in a loving and caring environment.
We also have quite a large vegetable garden where we produce veggies for our
kitchen. We prepare 860 meals per day in our kitchen. In the laundry we process
up to 400kg of clothing per day. Being in rural Mpumalanga protected workshops
for contract work is unfortunately not financially viable.
ABOVE: Industrial food mixer sponsored by Aqua Malongane 2005
PURPOSE OF THE PROGRAMME
Adult Intellectually disabled persons need to be in an environment where their
optimum physiological, social and emotional well-being can be maintained. The
relatives and the larger community cannot always provide in the above needs and
when disabled persons are admitted to Wenakker, they are in a safe and
well-managed facility, able to maintain social contact and assisted and guided
to improve their life skills. Their physical well-being is also taken care of.
The main objective is to improve their quality of life and to create a sense of
The vast majority of our consumers are not in a position to make a financial contribution towards
Any shortfalls will have to be covered by either fund-raising or the
introduction of money-generating projects. As far as fund-raising is concerned,
our options are limited in Lydenburg. Wenakker is situated in a community where
unemployment is rampant and huge demands are being made on the few community
resources in the area. Applications are regularly made to the National Lottery.
One of the vechiles sponsored by the National Lottery Fund.
We have success in collecting donations in kind from the farming community in
the area which helps us to cut on operating expenses.
ABOVE: Generator system sponsored by Barloworld
Money-generating projects are not viable in terms of the capabilities of our
residents and the local market for products. We had to close our metal and
woodworking operations because of actual losses incurred for the above reasons.
Furthermore, Lydenburg is not an industrial centre where contract work (such as
assembling) is available.
Wenakker relies for +/- 86% of its annual expenditure on Government subsidies.
In the light of the essential services that we render to the community, it will
have to be accepted that we are partners and that the Government is obliged to
make a substantial contribution to ensure that the delivery of this important
service is sustained.
Wenakker has property adjoining the central business district. We have had a
number of developers making enquiries about either purchasing the land and
building or going into a joint venture. As the town grows and property values
rise, it may be advantageous for Wenakker to consider offers in future.
Wenakker owns a number of residential and commercial properties which are no
longer required for our own operations. These properties are leased to other
parties and make a substantial contribution to our income. Funds have been
acquired from Lotto for the erection of a vegetable tunnel. This will enable
Wenakker to produce vegetables for our own consumption which makes us more
As part of our therapeutical program, our residents assist with household duties
in the laundry, kitchen, residences and grounds. While the activities keep them
active and healthy, it also goes a long way in making Wenakker more sustainable.
We have appointed two full time marketer/fundraisers to target corporate funding
for Wenakker from 2011.
The Laundry is responsible for all the washing and ironing of up to 400kg of
washing per day! Three personnel as well as a number of resident ladies are
working in the Laundry.
Everyone agrees that the kitchen is the heart of Wenakker. Approximately 900
menu based meals are prepared here daily. A number of residents under strict
supervision and six staff members assist with the preparation.
At the clinic daily medicine dosages are carefully sorted and dispensed.
Wenakker provides a variety of creative training classes to keep the residents
occupied and entertained.
Residents are looked after by capable nursing staff.