Epilepsy South Africa
Project: Entrepreneurship development programme
People with epilepsy face a number of daily challenges. Once poverty, discrimination and stigmatization are added, due to their economic environment and cultural diversity, these challenges become serious problems and to live a dignified life as an equal member of society becomes impossible.
Established in 1967, Epilepsy South Africa is a national registered non-profit organization, dedicated to working with people with epilepsy and related disabilities, as well as their families to enable them to lead meaningful and enriching lives. The organization focuses on creating opportunities for people with epilepsy and related disabilities to be included in mainstream society and to reach their full potential.
The National Office of Epilepsy South Africa and its seven independent Branches strive to provide services throughout South Africa and extremely impoverished and rural areas receive priority attention.
Currently, most people with epilepsy are financially dependant upon their families and their small government disability grants (approximately US$100 per month). In conjunction with the discrimination and stigmatization experienced by them on a daily basis, this situation is degrading and prevents their integration into society.
An integral part of Epilepsy South Africas National Economic Development Programme, entails capacity building of identified personnel members within its Branches to enable them to assist potential entrepreneurs with epilepsy and related disabilities, with the establishment of sustainable self-owned micro and small business enterprises. This process is facilitated by the organizations National Economic Development Manager, who is a qualified and experienced Master Trainer in the International Labor Organizations Start and Improve Your Business (SIYB) Programme.
The SIYB Programme is a small business training programme developed by the International Labor Organization (ILO) and used in over 90 countries worldwide. The SIYB Programme aims to contribute to the creation of quality employment and economic growth through enabling Small Enterprise Development (SED) organizations too effectively and independently implement SIYB training and assisting entrepreneurs to start and run a sustainable business.
The need for the implementation of an Entrepreneurial Development Programme within the organization can be found in a number of factors affecting people with epilepsy and related disabilities. These include high unemployment, limited employment opportunities, the lack of economic empowerment, limited capacity within other organizations to provide economic development services within South Africa and thus the need for staff development, to cascade economic empowerment services to our consumers.
The main objectives of this entrepreneurship development programme is thus focused on the training of staff members and volunteers at Branch level to become accredited SIYB facilitators; and the establishment of small businesses and income generation groups owned and managed by people with epilepsy and other disabilities, to contribute towards their economic integration into mainstream society.
Entrepreneurship development programme
OBJECTIVE: To train ten additional SIYB trainers, with those trainers having the potential to facilitate the training of a further 400 persons with epilepsy and other disabilities per year to establish their own businesses. Epilepsy South Africa will achieve this objective through the facilitation of a two-week residential training of trainers seminar, to skill staff and volunteers at Branch level in the implementation of the SIYB Programme. During this seminar, participants will also design implementation plans focusing on the training of entrepreneurs with epilepsy and other disabilities and other Branch personnel.
Monitoring and evaluation
The SIYB programme provides monitoring and evaluation materials and mechanisms. Workshop participants design implementation plans and reports regularly to the Master Trainer (NEDM) of Epilepsy South Africa. The National Economic Development Manager provides the National Director with monthly progress reports. In addition, the Master Trainer also provides the ILO with progress reports. The ILO also does impact studies within the countries where the programme is implemented.
Finally it is important to note that a trainer cannot be accredited if he/she has not done a sufficient amount of field work. The Master Trainers are tasked with accreditation and should trainers not do the necessary field work, this will jeopardise their chances of being accredited and even of qualifying to be trained as future Master Trainers.