The Ernie Els Centre for Autism South Africa Newsletter – April 2019

23 Apr

Latest news from The Ernie Els Centre for Autism in SA, providing lower resourced families of children on the autism spectrum with free access to effective education for their child via e-learning programs.

1. Els for Autism South Africa Golf Series 2019
Do you want to play golf for a good cause? The 2019 Els for Autism Series can offer you a round of golf, lots of prizes, auction items and loads of fun. This year, the winners of each golf day qualify to play in the Final at Sun City and we couldn’t be more excited to host the event for a second year in a row at the beautiful Lost City Golf Course. The winners at Sun City will win a spot in the SA Open Pro Am.

We have already had successful days at San Lameer, Heron Banks, St Francis Links, Omeya Golf Club in Namibia and Serengeti. Not even the rain could scare away the players at San Lameer in Durban and once again Omeya didn’t disappoint. It was our first event hosted at Heron Banks and we had a very enjoyable day. We had our most successful fundraiser yet at St Francis Links and we couldn’t be more grateful and blessed. We would like to thank Jeff Clause for the tremendous support throughout the years.

We look forward to the rest of the golf days ahead and please do not hesitate to contact us if you would like to support us and enter for the golf days. Entries and enquiries can be sent to Michelle at southafrica@elsforautism.org.

All of this would not be possible without our main sponsors, KWS Logistics and Sun International. We would like to thank them as well as the rest of our sponsors; we really appreciate all of the support.

2019 is even more special to us this year, because Ernie Els will Captain the International Team at the President’s Cup in Australia, taking on the mighty Tiger Woods, Captain of the USA Team. Appealing packages will be hosted by Ernie’s long-time friend and Business Development Manager of the Els Group, Nico van Rensburg and if you are interested, please contact Nico van Rensburg at nico.vanrensburg@ernieels.com.

2. Coffee Conversations in Cape Town
April is ‘Autism Awareness and Acceptance’ month, where the goal is to celebrate uniqueness and embrace neuro-diversity. So, what better way to start the month than with our first Coffee Conversation support group in Cape Town, held by Els for Autism South Africa and the Centre for Autism Research in Africa (CARA) from the University of Cape Town.

Megan Basson, a mother of a young autistic boy and keen advocate for individuals with Autism, was pivotal in making this parent support group happen. Edu-Play Early Learning Centre in Durbanville showed their support by providing access to the school as a venue for the day’s events. We had several parents of children with autism, teachers working with children with autism, and autistic adults advocating for the rights of the autistic individual; all getting together to share experiences and their journeys.

Debbie Flugel from the Academy for Adults with Autism, spoke about her experience with her adult autistic son, Jarred. Moreover, Emma from Equitots, shared her experiences working with equine therapy and individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder.

“It was an insightful morning of like-minded individuals sharing their experience of ASD over a cup of coffee and a donut, in a safe non-judgemental space,” commented Shani Lits, Program Director at the Ernie Els Centre for Autism. “Thank you to everyone that attended and participated. It served as an incredibly supportive experience, one which we hope to be able to continue in the near future to offer our parents a space to support one another.”

3. GDE celebrates World Autism Awareness Day
We were honoured to be invited to the Autism Awareness breakfast with the MEC for Gauteng Department of Education (GDE), Mr Panyaza Lesufi, at the CSIR International Convention Centre on World Autism Awareness Day, 2 April. This event served as a wonderful opportunity to unite all different stakeholders who are pursuing the mission to raise awareness, understanding, acceptance and support for those living with autism, as well as their families.

A variety of different schools, NGOs, Medical practitioners, parents and individuals on the ASD spectrum shared some of the current projects, as well as possibly future  solutions that may be available. Mr Reabetswe Montoedi, an individual living with Autism shared his inspirational journey and the challenges that he has dared to conquer. The MEC of Gauteng Education, Mr Panyaza Lesufi gave the keynote address and committed to continuing to raise awareness for autism and recognised the importance of such an endeavour.

“May this be the first of many future opportunities for stakeholders to help one another in their mission to support the autism community throughout South Africa,” commented Shani Lits, Program Director at the Ernie Els Centre for Autism.

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