Ikhwezi Welfare Organization is a non- profit making organization dedicated to improving the lives of the severely and mentally challenged children ,youth and old age personnel. Everybody will agree with us that very few institutions provide these services in black communities. Since the establishment of our organization in 1979, Ikhwezi has become a pillar of hope, strength and a refuge for these most vulnerable groups in our society.

Ikhwezi Welfare Organization has been an effective facility since1979 by the late Mrs Ethel Mthiyane who had a vision of improving the lives of the vulnerable groups especially the elderly, the physically disabled, the mentally disabled and vulnerable children. There was very little care for the black vulnerable groups and they were kept in their homes without any care or support and were viewed as a burden by their immediate families. The challenge was not just caring for the mentally and physically disabled but was also changing the perceptions and attitudes of communities and families towards these vulnerable cohorts. So her intervention  which has been carried this far was mainly informed  and influenced  by a myriad of factors such as poverty, lack of care and support and the stigma associated with mental illness. Ikhwezi is also very proud to be one of the oldest and model care facility for the severely mentally deprived children. It is also against this proud legacy of Ethel Mthiyane that we appreciate the continuous support we have been receiving from the Department of Health for the support especially over the last three years, it has indeed made a great difference in the lives of these vulnerable personnel.
The current context within our operations has changed dramatically as compared to the previous period when we received the funding. There has been a serious increase in the number of physically and mentally challenged personnel who needs to be accommodated in our facilities, against the backdrop of dwindling funding resources. The awareness campaigns by the department of Health on the caring and support of the children who are mentally challenged has yielded good results while at the same time we have witnessed a slight decrease in the level of abuse of the mentally and physically challenged children.

These improvements have however put strain on our work as we are experienced  an increase in the number of parents and families who are bringing their children to the centre while others don’t pay frequent visits to the children which affects their emotional status and frustrate our efforts. The legislative requirements of the Mental Health Care Act of 2002 are very strict and resolute in terms of caring for the mentally disabled where it states in section 8, that “ The persons, human dignity and privacy of every mental health care user must be respected” it further states in the same section that “ The care, treatment and rehabilitation services administered to a mental health care users must be proportionate to his or her mental health status and may intrude only.”

Ou Vision

To be an eminent pioneer in provision of quality care and sustainable support to the most vulnerable groups in the District of Ilembe in particular and KZN in general.

Ou Mission

To provide personnel living with mental and physical disability quality services that reduce pain and add value to their lives.

It is truism that South Africans have not reached a stage where they treat mental illness as condition that can be managed and that that people suffering from mental illness are an integral part of the society. This exclusion and discrimination makes it critically imperative for the children living with mental disabilities to be catered for because they are the most vulnerable of all vulnerable groups in our country. The scarcity and in other cases the ineffectiveness of the centres caring for these children makes Ikhwezi Welfare Organization one of the very few deserving centre to be funded due to the following factors.

• Our committed staff members who are passionate about caring for the children with mental and physical disability,
• Our value laden approach towards children living with mental illness
• We are providing quality and affordable service to the children albeit of very limited financial resources
• Unlike other disabilities, holistic mental disability service is a labour intensive service, requiring diverse skills and constant interventions

At Ikhwezi we pride ourselves at being an organization that adheres to good governance principles. To this end we have continuously and consistently produced unqualified report in terms of handling public money and running the centre. Our systems and governance mechanisms embrace the following principles:

• Accountability
• Transparency
• Inclusivity
• Efficiency
• Effectiveness

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