Our story began about 26 years ago, when Wolfgang Groh, the head of the IFB Foundation, visited Sam Boshielo's school for the blind in Johannesburg. The aim of this visit was to fight discrimination against children with disabilities and to find oppotunities for inprovement in this sectoor in South Africa. Unfortunately, the idea that children with disabilities are considered uneducable or unable to learn persists in our country, and in the eyes of many families, they represented a stigma. Our country's social problems and limited resources remain severe in many parts to this day. It is not uncommon for children with disabilities to be hidden away or even become abandoned. With this in mind, Sam Boshielo, Wolfgang Groh and another partner Marcus Sommer came together to form GrohSommBosh Center in the south of Johannesburg: A home for children with sever disabilities. Above all, it is a place where children with disabilities are able to lead a self-determined life that is as independent as is possible. By means of pedagogical assistance and nursing care, we enable children with severe impairments, above all, to live a dignified life. We have built a unique place full of joy and hope. Day after day we can witness the happy and radiant faces of our children. With Lion's Courage we hope to be a role model in dealing with impaired children beyond the home.
The Lion and the Kangaroo: "Kangaroo Institute for Disabled Children": Under this name Wolfgang Groh founded an organization in South Africa. Whereby the name "Kangaroo Institute" only occurs in South Africa. In Germany, the organization is called "Löwenmut". The initiative collects donations in Germany for the Kangaroo Institute, so that it has the possibility to establish itself in South Africa.
Kangaroos carry their babies in their pouch, very close to them, and give them warmth. In this way, they give their babies the absolute feeling of security. Their pouch is their babies' home. A principle that Känguru has taken up: A sense of home, family and maternal care. A place to shelter and spread joy together - just like a kangaroo mama does with her children. The lion is inseparable from Africa. For this reason, he has become our mascot in Germany and symbolically stands for South Africa. He stands for strength, beauty, endurance and pride: and these are exactly the qualities we see in our special children. Our vision is to make people in South Africa aware of the qualities of children with impairments. We want to show beyond the home that every person is the same and that there is a little lion in every person.
Early support for children is extremely important in order to counteract major problems in the child's development. Therefore, we want to provide our children with a wide range of therapeutic services. The individuality of our children is the starting point of our pedagogical work. Through daily playing, painting and singing, we help the children to develop within their possibilities. Through sports such as horseback riding, they not only learn how to interact with animals, but also perform valuable physical exercises. Our numerous activities and educational programs also give our children the chance to lead a happy and well-regulated life. For parents who need help, we develop various self-help options. For example, Tshireletso was able to return to his family after spending some time with us at Känguru Children's Home. This is because his family learned to deal with his impairment better and better over time. Tshireletso now spends his time with us at the inclusive kindergarten during the day and goes back home in the evening, where his loving family is already waiting for him full of joy.
We have trained nurses working in our home to take care of our children's health, but in case of medical emergencies we have to visit the hospitalS and clinics. Children with originally minor handicaps can develop the most severe disabilities due to a lack of early intervention or pronounced poverty. Therefore, we want to ensure that the children always receive medical assistance, therapeutic measures and support.
The non-profit organization IFB "Inclusion through support and care", wants to improve the living conditions of people with special needs at every stage of life. They are especially happy about the work of many socially committed employees. Because without this help they would not be able to offer nearly as much support and activities to people with disabilities. Many great mutual activities with the clients, is the appreciation for their commitment. Be it nice leisure excursions or helping them to pursue a hobby. The social workers get to know many common interests with their clients. In the process, everyone brings their own special strengths to the table. Because the IFB Foundation offers a wide range of volunteer activities, there is something for everyone. For the volunteers, it is nice to see how much joy they bring to the special people of the IFB Foundation through their company.
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