Kristopher Ryan Centre needs help

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The Kristopher Ryan Centre is in need of teachers or volunteers.
“We had to turn away 29 people in January because we cannot accommodate them,” said Sharen Wickens, one of the committee members of Kristopher Ryan Centre.
Kristopher Ryan is a centre where mentally and physical disabled adults can learn new skills and also how to read and write.
The centre opened in 2001 and was the first centre of its kind in the Govan Mbeki municipal area.
Marietjie School provided a venue initially until 2008 when the centre eventually obtained its own premises.
Sasol Mining then helped with renovations of the building and family and friends helped by donating money.
Before Kristopher Ryan opened their doors, disabled adults stayed at home as there was no centre where they could go to be stimulated.
“Kristopher Ryan Centre was established to stimulate these adults to achieve their optimum in life,” said Petunia Masango of Mpumalanga Mental Health who works at Kristopher Ryan Centre full time.
More than 40 adults are currently students at the Kristopher Ryan Centre.
“When pupils leave Marietjie School they had nowhere to go and often developed behavioural problems, anxieties and other kinds of problems,” said Petunia.
“These adults cannot be left alone and have to be under constant supervision.
“Their parents met and started Kristopher Ryan Centre.”
The centre works closely with the Mental Health Society, Marietjie School, Basizeni School, local clinics and Evander Hospital.
Fluor takes some of the students on a regular basis and teach them how to weld.
Even volunteers visit the centre weekly and invest their time in helping the students.
“We want to start a garden, but we need someone to teach the students how to make a vegetable garden,” said Sharen.
Other challenges the centre face are electrical problems, walls that needs painting and a sagging roof.
The centre do not have the finances to fix these problems and called on the public to help them.
“If there is an electrician who can help, we would appreciate it,” said Sharen.
The centre only receives an amount from the Department of Social Development every three months and is dependent on donations from the public.
They charge the students a minimal school fee and give them breakfast and lunch.
“Some of the students cannot even afford the minimal school fee,” said Petunia.
The centre has a bakery on the premises where they bake cookies they sell to raise an income for the centre.
If you want to order cookies, support the centre in any way or work as a volunteer, contact the centre at 017 634 7867 or 082 359 4871.

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