Vukuhambe Special School pupil Asisipho Peter is proof that living with a disability does not have to limit one from achieving your goals.
The Grade 10 pupil, who is head of the Provincial Children’s Ambassadors, was earlier this year granted the opportunity to deliver opening remarks at the post-State of the Province Address (Sopa) event at the Bhisho Legislature.
It was at the event that the wheelchair-bound pupil asked education MEC Mandla Makupula for a laptop that would assist her in fulfilling her duties as an ambassador.
Her duties include doing research into the needs of children across the Eastern Cape and submitting reports and pictures via e-mail to the office of the premier and the Nelson Mandela children’s parliament. Without a laptop, Peters said, this was very difficult to do.
On Monday, the Vukuhambe pupil received a brand new laptop.
Peters said she was passionate about helping other pupils and empowering people in her community and having the laptop would enable her to do this more effectively.
“During lunch at the event, I approached the MEC and explained who I was and the work I did.
“I could’ve written to him but because the opportunity presented itself, I grabbed it. He explained that there was a formal way to go about getting the laptop but pledged that he would assist me.
“I asked for his numbers so I could remind him the following day. I did just that and I received the laptop. I am so excited, this will really help me with the work I do.”
The pupil was accompanied by her father, Thembinkosi Marafane, when she received the laptop.
“I am so grateful to the department for this gesture and very excited for my daughter,” he said.
“Asisipho is a very diligent child who has always been curious and always interested in solving problems and finding answers to things.
“This laptop will really help her, especially with her schoolwork.”
Chief of staff at the office of MEC Nkosiphendule Duntsula, said Makupula had taken a decision to prioritise the needs of children from disadvantaged backgrounds, especially those who had disabilities, as they were also the most vulnerable.
The gesture was just one of the interventions by the MEC, he said.