Bethesda APD (Association for Persons with Disabilities) has its origins in local volunteer work: in the early 1990’s a group of volunteer community care workers were informed by medical staff that a number of persons with disabilities were not coming to the clinic on time to get their treatment and medication. The volunteers discovered that many of the persons with disabilities were left alone at home with no assistance and sometimes without food.
To better aid these people, the volunteers formed a club, each member taking turns to fetch the disabled persons, bring them to the clinic and take them back home. Later the clinic provided a room, so the clients could enjoy a meal prepared by the volunteers from donated food.
This group soon grew in numbers and the Anglican Church offered extra space in the town. The clients started learning crafts, which they sold to the local community. And so BETHESDA was born! Bethesda became a registered branch of the Western Cape APD in 2007. Hangberg Community Hall became our temporary home while searching for more permanent and central premises. In 2014 HB Community Church in Oxford Street became our new home. Building extensions during 2015 provided more space allowing for the expansion of projects including our Eco-garden, Café, more commercial contracts and please see further details under Projects. Today, HBAPD, Bethesda provides personal and skills development programmes for up to 40 clients, from age 18yrs and older. HBAPD’s model facilitates clients gaining skills and experience via the programmes and helping support their move into mainstream and/or entrepreneurial commercial opportunities. This is in keeping with our current philosophy of “making the circle bigger and more inclusive”.