Programmes
Programmes

Children's Day Care Centre

Our Children's Day Care Centre caters for children with special needs is designed to accommodate up to 30 children with disabilities, from as young as 3 months of age. Currently we have 3 fully functional classrooms, accommodating 30 children with various disabilities. Our children are cared for on a daily basis between 08h00 to 15h30 and all receive a hearty breakfast and nourishing lunch as well as an afternoon snack before being taken back home by our special transport vehicles

Interactive and facilitated therapy

We offer and support continual assessment of all our children and ensure that they receive the following therapies;

  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Music & Art therapy
  • Physiotherapy, cognitive development and body massage

In addition to stimulating the mental and physical development and hand/eye coordination of our children all receive instruction and guidance in self-feeding, toilet training, dress skills, reading and writing – all of which form an important part of the therapeutic care programmes. Parents are always encouraged to participate in the learning process and are taught how to care for and stimulate their children when not in our care.

Ongoing Staff training & Development

Upskilling and continued support of our staff is always a priority for us and we receive regular visits by volunteer therapists and medical professionals (local and international specialists in their fields) who share their knowledge and expertise with us. These staff sessions facilitate continued skill development and training in various new techniques that can be used to enhance our children’s therapy experiences. Our dedicated staff also regularly attend training courses held by the Western Cape Mental Health Forum , which keeps all our staff up to date with current developments in the education and therapy fields.

Adult Day Care

Those profoundly disabled adults who are not capable of participating in work centre activities are cared for at the Orion Adult Day Care during the day. This centre identifies more basic, but still productive activities that enhance the development of everyone’s personal skills.

Life skills training forms part of the daily activities at Orion through which residents are specifically taught how to handle their own money, sexual etiquette and other cultural competencies. Individual development plans are drawn up a by multi-professional team which allows each individual the opportunity to develop to their full capacity. Their families are included in these developmental plans and continually supported to assist our residents when spending time with their families away from our residence.

Residential Care

As the needs of our community change so Orion from time to time has to change the service offering to suit the needs of our clients with disabilities.

Our Residential Care Department is home to 82 adults with a host of different disabilities who live in one of our 6 Group Home Facilities. To approximately 50 of these adults Orion is the only home they have, there are no family members who take an interest in them or to whom they can go for holidays and weekends…. Orion is their home, the only home they have.

Our Residential Facility comprises 6 houses, each with a unique mix of individuals. Currently we have 4 homes catering for clients who require assisted living, in other words they can do most things for themselves but they need assistance with some of their daily tasks, including personal care and routines.

Each of these 4 homes have 2 care workers who live on the premises and who work in shifts so that when the residents are home in the evenings, mornings and weekends that there is someone to assist them with the tasks where they needs help – “a house mother so to speak”.

In June 2019 Orion opened up its first Independent Living Home on the property, this home currently caters for 8 adults who are being trained to live independently from Orion, these clients have been identified as being able to move on from Orion and live independently in the community with a support system but not full supervision, therefor, in this house there is not a permanent care worker, the individuals here look after themselves and their home completely with the group home manager having her office in the house and keeping an eye on things during the day, ensuring that the house is in order and that things are on track.

During the evening care workers from the other homes go and pop in just to ensure that everyone is doing well, but there is no care worker living permanently in the home, therefore a support system is in place, but there is far greater independence for these clients, who are also receiving educational programs and interventions as part of their individual development programs and organized by the social work team during the day to equip them to potentially live outside of Orion.

Our 6th home is a High Care Unit, for those clients who need medical care 24 hours a day. This home currently has 18 clients living in it and has two 12 hour shifts of 3 care workers per shift each day to ensure that the clients receive the necessary care 24 hours per day.

These clients are typically those who are unable to care for any of their own needs, they need assistance with everything, they are clients who have disabilities that degenerate and worsen over time leaving them more and more disabled as they age. This home is also a new addition and was officially opened in June 2019 as we realized that the changing physical needs of some of our clients demanded 24 hour care.

Orion’s 6 Group Homes which in summary consist of 4 assisted living homes, 1 independent living home and 1 high care facility, is one of the few such projects in the Western Cape. We currently have a waiting list of 60 people who are desperately in need of such services with additional calls almost on a daily basis, some of these calls are from old aged homes who have people with disabilities there just because there is nowhere else for them to be, hospitals who have patients that are in desperate need of placement or families where mom and dad have become frail and can no longer adequately care for their disabled family member, the reality however is that Orion is full and there are just not enough care facilities for the disabled.

Keeping our Residential Care Department open is essential to our beneficiaries, without Orion the greater majority would land up in facilities that are ill equipped to care for their specific needs (like frail care centers and old aged homes), the rising costs however are a constant threat to the service as the only income to cover costs is a grant from the Department of Social Development and a portion of each client’s grant, this however falls short of the actual costs of running the department because it is people intensive, we need a high number of staff members in order to provide an effective service to our clients.

ORION ART CENTRE

The Orion Art Centre was launched in 2010 after realising the amazing talent our children and profoundly disabled adults have. This art is used as a tool in the awareness creation amongst the public to showcase the exceptional talent of persons with disabilities.

We are constantly looking for opportunities in galleries and exhibition centres to showcase our work and potentially use this as a vehicle in order to generate sales and income to sustain the project, funding which would then enable us to identify and start upskilling more of the artists within the organisation.

We believe that our communal society also have challenges to overcome, it may not necessarily be a physical, mental or intellectual disability so our ART CENTRE goes a long way to promote understanding and engagement.

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & INCOME GENERATION

Providing the disabled person with a sense of purpose and productivity is integral to any therapeutic endeavour. It is our continued mission to maximise the capacity of disabled people for independent living and to avoid the cycle of poverty, our organisation has focused strongly on skills training and job creation. This has led to the establishment of a number of successful income generating initiatives.

Our Work Centre and work methods are well adapted for workers with a disabilities. It has the capacity for 150 disabled adults, and is staffed by 7 hands-on supervisors reporting to a Work Centre Manager. We have in the past secured a number of significant contracts such as recycling 20 000 plastic hangers per day for Hangerman/Woolworths and weighing of products for Bokomo Foods.

We are also proud of our partnership with TRW Automotive Occupant Restraints, assembling various components (i.e. seat belts and air bags) forming part of their production line. Other contracts include Mondi Plastic Containers, Ysterplaat Medical Supplies, Baltimore Aircoil Company, AMC, Powertech, Kaytech, to mention a few.

Throughout the work centre all our members are taught about hygiene, workflow, time management, machine operation and safety across a variety of machines. Many of the high-functioning adults with disabilities learn a variety of skills including specialised packaging, basic numeracy and literacy, machine operating techniques, as well as exercising their fine motor control skills.

Our work centre provides space for existing contract work partnerships, unfortunately this space is inadequate. It is utilised to its full capacity, and the organisation is in need of another building so we are able to create more job opportunities and skills development for our members and serve as additional secure storage space for incoming/outgoing stock.

The more members we are able to gain employment for will continue to assist in their own personal development and independence and serves as additional income generation for our organisation.

SPORT & RECREATION

Many of our beneficiaries have never been exposed to certain sports and recreational activities. The program therefore focuses on exposes the participants to new activities and to identify talent and interest.

We have partnered with international organizations and set up a weekly program where our participants not only have the opportunity to experience the joy of movement, but they learn new skills, they interact with their peers, they learn life skills, they build onto their talents, they receive much needed exercise and the activities are physically, mentally and emotionally therapeutic.

The program also entails a train-the-trainer program, where the participants learn how to facilitate the program and they are able to interact with other persons with disabilities from various communities.

The program is therefore aimed at empowerment. We have started up a soccer and netball team and the teams practice on a weekly basis. They also play matches against non-disabled teams which promotes breaking down the stigma that is so often associated with the term - disability.

This program has shown incredible value in building the confidence of our participants, in giving them purpose, in addressing behavioural issues and just in general the holistic well-being of the participants.

Wilge Day Care Centre for Children with Special Needs

Our Wilge Day Care Centre for children with special needs is designed to accommodate up to 30 children with disabilities, from as young as 3 months of age. Currently we have 3 fully functional classrooms, accommodating 30 children with various disabilities. Our children are cared for on a daily basis between 08h00 to 15h30 and all receive a hearty breakfast and nourishing lunch as well as an afternoon snack before being taken back home by our special transport vehicles.

Interactive and facilitated therapy

We offer and support continual assessment of all our children and ensure that they receive the following therapies;

  • Occupational therapy
  • Speech therapy
  • Music & Art therapy
  • Physiotherapy, cognitive development and body massage

In addition to stimulating the mental and physical development and hand/eye coordination of our children all receive instruction and guidance in self-feeding, toilet training, dress skills, reading and writing – all of which form an important part of the therapeutic care programmes. Parents are always encouraged to participate in the learning process and are taught how to care for and stimulate their children when not in our care.

Ongoing Staff training & Development

Upskilling and continued support of our staff is always a priority for us and we receive regular visits by volunteer therapists and medical professionals (local and international specialists in their fields) who share their knowledge and expertise with us. These staff sessions facilitate continued skill development and training in various new techniques that can be used to enhance our children’s therapy experiences. Our dedicated staff also regularly attend training courses held by the Western Cape Mental Health Forum , which keeps all our staff up to date with current developments in the education and therapy fields.

RESIDENTIAL FACILITY / ADULT DAY CARE

Our Residential Facility provides residential care and a haven from violence and abuse for 76 disabled adults from all parts of the Western & Southern Cape. Our residential complex currently consists of 6 homes, each of which accommodates up to 14 disabled adults and 2 home supervisors.

Each home is managed in an organized and comfortable environment and encourages healthy communal living. Male and female residents have separate quarters and bathroom facilities, the maximum number of residents per room is 2 although some do have single rooms… but sadly each resident does not have their own private bathroom.  The Residents share a communal kitchen and living area and all the homes share common areas such as the braai facility, and when available the swimming pool (which is currently empty due to water restrictions). Each resident is encouraged to make their personal space in their rooms their own, they are encouraged to bring things from home where possible but when not possible Orion provides what is needed, they all have their own responsibilities within the home.  

A trained care giver under the supervision of a medical professional is on site to assist with basic health services which include the administration of medication and immunisations, incontinence management, blood pressure and diabetes control and linking to paramedic services when needed.  Physio Therapy and other essential therapy programs form part of the daily development programs offered within the services department.

Prior to residential admission the potential resident is screened in order to determine the level of care and specific assistance required by each individual so that we may respond accordingly. They are encouraged to grow intellectually, emotionally, socially, spiritually and physically through programmes developed by us.

Residents are also given the opportunity to be employed through our WORK CENTRE, where they can learn a skill, earn additional income and develop an enormous sense of achievement and self-worth and a solid and positive work ethic, which prepares them for the open labour market.
The profoundly disabled adults living in the residential care facilities who are not capable of participating in work centre activities are cared for at the Orion Adult Day Care during the day. This centre identifies more basic, but still productive activities that enhance the development of everyone’s personal skills.

Life skills training forms part of the daily activities at Orion through which residents are specifically taught how to handle their own money, sexual etiquette and other cultural competencies. Individual development plans are drawn up a by our multi-disciplinary professional team which allows each individual the opportunity to develop to their full capacity. Their families are included in these developmental plans and continually supported to assist our residents when spending time with their families away from our residence.

ORION ART CENTRE

The Orion Art Centre was launched in 2010 after realising the amazing talent our children and profoundly disabled adults have. This art is used as a tool in the awareness creation amongst the public to showcase the exceptional talent of persons with disabilities.

We are constantly looking for opportunities in galleries and exhibition centres to showcase our work and potentially use this as a vehicle in order to generate sales and income to sustain the project, funding which would then enable us to identify and start upskilling more of the artists within the organisation.

We believe that our communal society also have challenges to overcome, it may not necessarily be a physical, mental or intellectual disability so our ART CENTRE goes a long way to promote understanding and engagement.

BUSINESS DEVELOPMENT & INCOME GENERATION

Providing the disabled person with a sense of purpose and productivity is integral to any therapeutic endeavour. It is our continued mission to maximise the capacity of disabled people for independent living and to avoid the cycle of poverty, our organisation has focused strongly on skills training and job creation. This has led to the establishment of a number of successful income generating initiatives.

Our Work Centre and work methods are well adapted for workers with a disabilities. It has the capacity for 150 disabled adults, and is staffed by 7 hands-on supervisors reporting to a Work Centre Manager. We have in the past secured a number of significant contracts such as recycling 20 000 plastic hangers per day for Hangerman/Woolworths and weighing of products for Bokomo Foods.

We are also proud of our partnership with TRW Automotive Occupant Restraints, assembling various components (i.e. seat belts and air bags) forming part of their production line. Other contracts include Mondi Plastic Containers, Ysterplaat Medical Supplies, Baltimore Aircoil Company, AMC, Powertech, Kaytech, to mention a few.

Throughout the work centre all our members are taught about hygiene, workflow, time management, machine operation and safety across a variety of machines. Many of the high-functioning adults with disabilities learn a variety of skills including specialised packaging, basic numeracy and literacy, machine operating techniques, as well as exercising their fine motor control skills.

Our work centre provides space for existing contract work partnerships, unfortunately this space is inadequate. It is utilised to its full capacity, and the organisation is in need of another building so we are able to create more job opportunities and skills development for our members and serve as additional secure storage space for incoming/outgoing stock.

The more members we are able to gain employment for will continue to assist in their own personal development and independence and serves as additional income generation for our organisation.

VEGETALE GARDENING

Orion has implemented a business approach to all we do, and to such end a vegetable growing tunnel and garden has been established with the view to growing enough vegetables to cater for the nutritional needs of the residents living in the group homes, but also to in the future be able to sell part of the crop within the community and at local markets in order to generate an income for the organization.

SPORT & RECREATION

Many of our beneficiaries have never been exposed to certain sports and recreational activities. The program therefore focuses on exposes the participants to new activities and to identify talent and interest.

We have partnered with international organizations and set up a weekly program where our participants not only have the opportunity to experience the joy of movement, but they learn new skills, they interact with their peers, they learn life skills, they build onto their talents, they receive much needed exercise and the activities are physically, mentally and emotionally therapeutic.

The program also entails a train-the-trainer program, where the participants learn how to facilitate the program and they are able to interact with other persons with disabilities from various communities.

The program is therefore aimed at empowerment. We have started up a soccer and netball team and the teams practice on a weekly basis. They also play matches against non-disabled teams which promotes breaking down the stigma that is so often associated with the term - disability.

This program has shown incredible value in building the confidence of our participants, in giving them purpose, in addressing behavioural issues and just in general the holistic well-being of the participants.

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