Message from Mr Mac Mia

It is with great pride that I herewith convey the well wishes and congratulations of my council to you as our KZN APD member organisation and head office. I can truly and earnestly say that the National Council of and for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) is proud to have your APD as a “family member”.

On a personal note, I am privileged to be a part of KZN APD, which boasts many name changes, restructuring and renewed planning processes, always with the aim of improved service delivery to persons with disabilities, so clearly illustrated by the many wonderful projects you run for persons with disabilities and the communities to which they belong.

It is with nostalgia that I think back of humble beginnings, but with great leaders like our Dr BT Naidoo who had such a huge and majestic vision from day one and who left big footsteps for myself and others to follow in. And with Saras always adding so much value and style to everything we did. It was such a pleasure to be associated with such greatness, vision and commitment.

Some times were more challenging than others, but as a team of volunteers, together with our APD staff, we always managed to not just break even, but to build up wonderful assets such as schools for learners with disabilities, which later got recognition from Department of Education with subsidisation.

I also look back to the days that fellow volunteers in the then “Council for the Care of Cripple” were not happy to welcome us on board as an Indian organisation. It was during the apartheid years and sadly we had to negotiate our way through, but successfully so. Later we played a most vital role in the National Council.

Dr BT and myself as well as other members such as Mr A Naidoo, Mr P B Singh and others have been involved in the national body for many moons and in various positions where we were and still are happy to play a role. But it is the steady, fair, just and innovative leadership of BT which is still very fresh in our memories.

As chairman and leader of the new National Council (NCPD) it is my privilege to carry the strong message of equity and inclusion for our APDs to embrace and follow and again I can commend the KZN APD leadership and staff for their understanding and execution of this.

It is also me and my Exco’s privilege to oversee and govern the services and advocacy programs of the NCPD and to ensure that we stay in touch with what persons with disabilities really experience.

Again I want to thank and congratulate our KZN team for excellent inputs and for keeping us on our toes. As for Casual Day: after we have streamlined the project and taken its management in-house, it was appropriate to this year choose a theme of diversity so that our great project can play a role in uniting us as South Africans.

During several Show and Tell functions, I was so proud when KZN was called to stage to accept trophies and certificates for excellent participation and innovation during Casual Day. APD KZN, you are our leaders in this. APD KZN, Mr P B Singh, you are always first to support national initiatives such as our recent name change, constitutional changes, Nappy Run, public awareness and much more.

For this, we thank you, but we also thank you for your opposing views and as such enriching us with new perspectives.

I want to make a special mention of the tremendous role APD KZN has played in the empowerment of educators of children with disabilities and the learning of our children themselves.

KZN education for learners with disabilities is of high standard. We look forward to many more decades of service delivery and expansion into deep rural areas.

To the staff, management and executive, thank you very much for your hard work and for making a real difference. I am indeed proud of you..

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