R400,000 still available for assistance under Disabled Trust Fund By Patrick Joubert |14 September 2021
There is still a sum of R400,000available for assistance under the Disabled Trust Fund for people with disabilities, especially those in need of special aids not available in the country.
The announcement was made yesterday by the director of the Elderly and Disabled Persons Division, Rosa Morin, during a meeting with the newly established steering committee for the homes for the elderly and the Disabled Trust Fund of which she is also the chairperson.
The aim of the meeting was to discuss the list of candidates applying for a place in the homes for the elderly and requests for assistance under the Disabled Trust Fund as per their mandate. It was also an opportunity for the committee to educate the public (especially the two target groups) about the new procedures and guidelines to access the funds or placement in the homes for the elderly as well as pushing one of the committee’s ethos (transparency) forward.
“The committee felt that there were a lot of things lacking in the previous policy and our aim is to revise the existing policy and bring in new clauses that were missing and also to ensure the public know that there is money for financial support and there are procedures they can follow to apply for the assistance as well as to apply for a senior elderly to be placed in an elderly home,” she said, noting that the existing policy, in place since 2018, is being revised to allow better transparency when it comes to placement of elderly people in elderly homes and access to funding from the trust fund.
Speaking on the Trust Fund, Mrs Morin said R400,000 is available for use and apart from granting the normal assistance to attend to the local needs of the disabilities (small projects), the fund will also assist disabled persons to purchase specific equipment from overseas, fitting their disabilities and for their personal use only.
She noted that the division has for 2021 received only one application and stressed that people in need should be made aware of the existence of the trust fund.
She explained that the Trust Fund will no longer cater for big projects such as road construction or road improvements for the benefit of disabled persons as these can be taken up by government as national projects.
She added that the Trust Fund will cater only for minor projects such as the renovation a bathroom, among others, as example.
Mrs Morin noted that non-governmental organisations linked to disabled persons, are also being urged to apply for funding for their small projects under the Trust Fund.
She stated that the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Family is in negotiation with the Ministry of Finance for a larger budget in the next allocation and if granted, only then the Trust Fund might be able to cater for bigger projects.
The Trust Fund was in the past managed by the former National Council for the Disabled. Other than the ministry’s website, application forms are also available from affiliated partners in government as well as in district administration offices.
With regard to placement of elderly people in elderly homes, Mrs Morin said that the division is opting for placement of only those who are capable of caring for themselves in the homes.
She added that those who are unable to care for themselves and need the assistance of a home carer, will be placed at the regional home at North East Point, just like those who were living in the elderly homes but have been transferred as they could not look after themselves.