The management of Lead Change Development, a Non-Profit Organisation funded by Gauteng Social Development, operating in Dobsonville, Soweto, is still shocked and surprised with their international recognition but equally proud of their achievement.
They say receiving an international award it means they are in a right path serving the differently abled community. The organization was awarded an international accolade from the British company, Acquisition International, for its exceptional work towards empowering persons with disability through skills development.
According to the organization’s founder, Shaun Soko, they take the accolade as a source of motivation and encouragement in terms of the work that they do to support people with disability across South Africa.
He said that this signifies that determination and hard work ultimately pays, and that it means their services respond to the needs of people living with disability. He said everyone was excited when they received the news that the NPO was chosen as the winner for “The most empowering Disability Education NPO 2023 – South Africa”, in the Non-Profit Organisation Award 2023.
“Yes, there was a level of excitement and a restrained excitement, but when we received the news, we were surprised to have managed to scoop this award from an international company especially because we are an organization that operates in the township of Soweto. One would expect such to happen to the organizations in first world countries or perhaps those who operate or in upmarket areas. We are extremely excited to have done it and we are looking forward to do even better going forward”, Soko added.
Soko went on to highlight that one thing that has been keeping them going as an organization is the love for their work and most importantly to be passionate about what they do, especially for disability community. He said after receiving an award everyone at the organization feels rejuvenated.
Lead Change Development was established in 2011 with prime objective of alleviating poverty through the provision of opportunities for persons with disability in townships.
The organisation provides computer related skills to differently abled people. They started receiving funding from Gauteng Department of Social Development in 2015.
Soko said he was inspired by his passion to help people who are differently abled to reach their potential. He believes people with disability are brilliant, and they can also contribute to solving some of the country’s problems in future through the skills offered in the centre.
Since its inception, the organization has made great strides and been able to place over 40 disabled learners in permanent employment and over 200 in different learnerships.
“We are a non-profit Organization, with a goal to educate & empower individuals with disability. We target previously disadvantaged youths by offering professional ICT focused training and various skills development programs at no cost to the beneficiaries”, Soko explained.