Get skilled, get independent, get inspired

From the front left: Grant Oosthuyzen, founder of Get Inspired, with QASA COO Raven Benny at the opening of the Get Inspired workshop at the QAK centre.

Durban resident, Grant Oosthuyzen, had a vision to teach people with disabilities to work and offer hope, purpose and empowerment to those in the disability community. One year ago, Get Inspired was born with the vision to get people out of their centres and homes so that they can live life with purpose.

Get Inspired teaches woodworking, and arts and crafts to people with disabilities so that they can sell the products for an income. Get Inspired operated from Westville Baptist Church but, due to COVID-19, were no longer able to meet.

“I think success stories are when we can get a person with a disability to hold sandpaper or a paint brush, or when someone makes R25 off a product. We think: ‘What is R25? Nothing.’ But for the person with a disability, they can buy deodorant or toothpaste. That is humbling as you take little things in life for granted,” says Grant.

The 29-year-old was born with cerebral palsy. At birth, he was without oxygen for 45 minutes. Doctors gave him a week to live, but he defied the odds to be discharged a month later. The doctors gave Grant little hope, but his family rallied to allow him to live life to the fullest.

Schooled at Browns School and Open Air before graduating Top 10 from Damelin in his graphic design course, Grant lives in his own house and does many things independently like getting in and out of bed, watching TV, doing washing, using his computer and sending messages on his phone … all with his feet.

Grant has a full-time caregiver to assist with the rest and an assistant to help with his work during the week. He represents KwaZulu-Natal and South Africa in Boccia; completed the Amashova Cycle Race … twice; has gone skydiving, surfing and does ballroom dancing. He strives to inspire and encourage people with disabilities through leading by example.

Grant used his qualification to assist QuadPara Association of KwaZulu-Natal (QAK) with graphic design and admired their computer programme run from the resource centre. Unfortunately, the programme closed, but, keen to provide more opportunity to the community, Grant approached QAK with a plan to repurpose the resource centre into the new Get Inspired workshop.

The centre was transformed into a workshop with the help of Build It Pinetown and Orange Operations team. The workshop with adapted tools and machinery opened on October 31, 2020.

Unfortunately, with QAK currently closed and the centre unavailable, Get Inspired is urgently looking for a permanent or temporary home as it plans to reopen in February. To find out more or to assist, visit the Get Inspired website at www.getinspired.org.za or contact the team at 072 117 3716.

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