Johannesburg - A number of non-profit organisations received grants from the Japan Embassy as part of their 2020 Grant Assistance for Grass-Roots Human Security Projects Programme. The embassy identified 11 projects, paying special attention to the empowerment of women and services to people living with disabilities.
The Embassy of Japan invited five of the non-profit organisations to the signing ceremony on Tuesday at the Japan Embassy in Groenkloof. This year’s recipients include, among others, the Eluthandweni Maternity Clinic in Vosloorus. The clinic will receive medical equipment and an ambulance to the value of over R1 million.
Japan's ambassador Norio Maruyama spoke at the signing ceremony and said they would donate two ultrasound machines, an incubator, an infant warmer and a Cardiotocography monitor to the clinic. He said he was pleased that the signing ceremony was taking place days after International Women's Day.
Japan's ambassador to South Africa, Norio Maruyama during the signing ceremony. Picture: Jacques Naude/African News Agency(ANA)
“By ensuring women and people with disabilities are empowered, we ensure that the whole nation is empowered. Going forward, we will support the improvement of economic and social disparities through the creation of social infrastructure where women and people with disabilities can play an active role in society,” he said.
Eluthandweni Maternity Clinic Manager Nonina Diphoko said the equipment will assist the clinic to provide affordable, quality maternal care. While the ambulance will assist in their mission to reduce maternal and infant mortality by improving access to emergency maternal procedures.
“The main challenge is when a mother comes in and they have never attended a clinic and have no record history of their health. The mother needs to attend clinics the minute they find out,” she said.
She said they were a community-based organisation and they welcomed those coming from previously disadvantaged backgrounds. The organisation bridges a gap in maternal care offering better services than local government facilities and better affordability than the private sector. She added that they understood there was a challenge in the public sector and people could not afford services in the private sector.
The embassy also donated items to the trauma centre for survivors of Violence and Torture in the Western Cape and the Hoedspruit Training Trust/Hlokomela Project based in Limpopo.
The Londanani Care Centre offers admission to Children living with disabilities who cannot be admitted to any special needs school due to the severity of their disability. The embassy donated a converted vehicle as well as soft floor tiles. Maruyama said the embassy would also fund the construction of a skills centre for children with Profound Intellectual Disabilities in Makhaloaneng Primary School in the Free State.