Western Cape Premier Helen Zille has bought her Casual Day sticker! A long-time advocate for persons with disabilities Ms Zille did not hesitate to pay for her sticker and pose for a photograph with Casual Day office manager Faheema Granville.
She bought her sticker at the opening of the Women’s Achievement Network for Disability at Artscape, saying that persons with disabilities were marginalised and in many poor communities they were ‘hidden away’.
“The challenges around disability have not yet been fully acknowledged,” she said. “People think it begins with race and gender, but it is just the beginning. We have never confronted the politics of disability as a society.” She encouraged persons with disabilities to start a movement and for society to free up resources to focus on unpreventable conditions that cause disability. Helen Zille has been personally affected by disability and has previously said, “I grew up in a family with disability: my granny was deaf and my sister is deaf, so I know what the challenges are facing those living with disabilities.”
Casual Day is South Africa’s most successful fundraising project for persons with disabilities – and the amount raised for last year has climbed to R24.8 million. Sponsored by The Edcon Group, Casual Day is the flagship project of the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa (NCPPDSA), which this year celebrates 75 years of service to the community of persons with disabilities.
Says Casual Day project leader Celeste Vinassa, “Casual Day has welcomed several new ambassadors aboard to raise awareness around the project and its aims. We aim to do the very thing that Helen Zille suggests – to start a movement to change the way the world sees (or does not see) persons with disabilities.
“Our ambassadors are persons with disabilities or people who have dedicated themselves to fighting for the rights of persons with disabilities,” says project leader Celeste Vinassa. “They speak from experience and knowledge about disability. It’s called ‘self-advocacy’. They are all people who have overcome great adversity, and are now ready to help Casual Day with its evolution. Casual Day changes lives one R10 sticker at a time. Our ambassadors are there to give society a deeper understanding of the world of disability and how to make the world a more respectful and nurturing place for everybody.”
Casual Day celebrates its 20th birthday this year. The theme for 2014 is ‘Bring out the Bling’ and the colour for the year is Dazzle Blue. Put on your dancing shoes and dress up, not down, for this year’s Casual Day. Casual Day is on Friday 5 September.
More than 2 million people participated in Casual Day last year. The proceeds of Casual Day goes to ensure the sustainability of more than 500 organisations serving the needs of persons with disabilities all over South Africa.
Casual Day provides the country with the opportunity to show their solidarity with persons with disabilities, at the same time enjoying teambuilding and camaraderie with their fellow participants. It gives South Africans the opportunity to be creative and have fun while contributing to the betterment of society. It is community spirit in action.