At the East Rand Protective Workshop, we see everyone as expressions of the Divine. Most of our beneficiaries have experienced rejection by family, friends and society, but not here: We strive to be the best in the world in providing unconditional love to all our beneficiaries; the drive of our economic income comes from fees, contract work, governmental subsidies, donations and sponsors; and we are passionate about our beneficiaries' potential as manifestations of the Divine.
It is easy to identify with a blind or a deaf person: Just close your eyes and try walking through a strange place or shut your ears and try following a conversation. Now imagine yourself at your age, 36, 44, 50 or even 58, but with the intellectual abilities of a 4 or a five year old child. Your speech is limited and you talk about yourself in the third person. Imagine that your physical appearance and behaviour will inform people that you are intellectually disabled and shun you in public. Imagine throwing a tantrum in public as an adult. Imagine that you cannot read and write; or that you have little hand-eye coordination and that you have no sense of responsibility or accountability. You don't know why you do certain things or think about the consequences. Imagine that you have no prospects of ever finding a job or own a car or a house or raise a family. Imagine that you cannot follow or participate in a rational discussion. Imagine that the only directions you understand are: DO THIS! DON'T DO THAT! Not that easy.
These are the people that come to the East Rand Protective Workshop to find unconditional love and to enjoy life with their friends that are on the same intellectual and emotional level.
The East Rand Protective Workshop provides a safe haven for the intellectually disabled adults away from home. They don't need to sit alone at home or wander around in the streets to become easy prey for the perverted. Here they have the opportunity to socialise with their own without experiencing the rejection of society.
At the Workshop they can stand their ground on their own terms and learn to become more independent.
The Workshop also provides the kind of work the intellectually disabled adults are able to do. They don't have to feel pressurised to perform above their unique levels of competency.
They receive a nominal amount as pocket money for their efforts. This gives them pride and a sense of accomplishment. Various companies got involved at the Workshop by providing menial work to the intellectually disabled adults. Companies like Noag's Market, Prodist, Premier Housewares, TAL, 3M, and KB Tech have diversified their employment by including the mentally disabled adults in the distribution of their labour.
This gives the companies a better employment profile and the Workshop a source of income.
The 3 hostels/residential facilities provide a service to 33 intellectually disabled adults who are better suited to live-in situations than living at home.