Born prematurely at 26 weeks with a birth weight of just 1,106kg, Alvirdo Arendse is a nine-year-old boy with multiple disabilities.
Importantly though, Alvirdo was born into love, with his mother being committed to his care. But it’s a struggle, living in a tiny Wendy house, with no work and only a Care Dependency Grant for income. But wanting the best for her son, his mother enrolled him at our Jo-Dolphin day Care in Malmesbury.
Two years ago when Alvirdo started at Jo-Dolphin, he was unsure of himself, had limited social skills, was unable to walk unassisted, and had a very limited vocabulary.
Since then, Alvirdo has undergone corrective surgery for his feet, and with physiotherapy he’s now able to walk with minimal assistance from carers. He even attempted running. Alvirdo can now also identify numbers, colours, days of the week, and seasons.
With his new confidence and progress in ability, Alvirdo may well be able to move on to a school for children with special educational needs.
Jo-Dolphin Swartland is the only day care centre for children with disabilities in Malmesbury and immediate surrounds, and works closely with the Department of Education.
The 22 attendees receive two balanced nutritious meals, along with a structured programme each day.
And the programme is fun – with singing, exercises, colouring, painting, cutting and pasting, and games providing the essential therapies for developing ability.
Above all, attendance at Jo-Dolphin Day Care translates into ‘Hope’.
Your support, provides all the formal necessities for a child with a disability to be able to grow. But your greatest gift is hope, and the opportunity for a disability to be changed into ‘ability’ for the future.
Alvirdo Arendse is proof of that.