Uhambo Foundation

About Us

Uhambo Foundation as founded in 2010 as part of a hybrid social enterprise with Shonaquip and several related entities. As 35% shareholder of Shonaquip (Pty) Ltd, Uhambo and Shonaquip work hand-in-hand to create an inclusive society for people with disabilities, especially children. Shonaquip manufactures and provides assistive devices and clinical support, while Uhambo builds capacity in communities and breaks down barriers to access for these children and their families.
Uhambo has approximately 9 600 direct annual programme beneficiaries and, as a capacity building organisation working in conjunction with Shonaquip has an annual impact on the lives of over 300,000 children with disabilities, their families and caregivers making us one of the largest and most impactful social enterprises in Africa.

What We Do

Uhambo works closely with government, civil society and the private sector to improve the lives of children with mobility disabilities. Our community based programmes have a holistic approach and focus on building longstanding capacity for communities to sustain inclusive societies. We partner with communities to deliver training, community outreach, clinical assessment, fitting and review services.
Our capacity building programmes, training and other support services serve to empower children with mobility challenges, as well as their parents, families, caregivers and communities. We work at all levels, from individuals, care facilities and schools to government hospitals. At the same time, we realise that children and families also need immediate support and supplement these programmes with social work and clinical services. Uhambo Foundation’s award winning, occupational therapy designed, inclusive ECD skills training programme is often the initial introduction to our work and is globally unique in combining both occupational therapy and ECD insights appropriate for caregivers in low resource communities.
Our government training programmes and the development of a uniform referral pathway for families of children in the Western Cape Province of South Africa has been accredited with improving service delivery for over 93,000 families in the last three years. Uhambo runs programmes in South Africa, Botswana and Mozambique.

Our Model

South Africa has no official business registration vehicle that accommodates the needs of a genuine social enterprise like Shonaquip. Transformation and Black Empowerment criteria create additional organisational compliance needs.
For this reason, we operate under a hybrid model, one that allows us to maximise impact and provide a broad range of products, services and support functions that meet the needs of a diverse landscape of beneficiaries, clients and stakeholders.
To this end, the Shonaquip Group consists of several separate but related entities. Each entity maintains a separate, specialist board of Directors and independent financial reporting.

Shonaquip (Pty) Ltd (est 1992) was founded by Shona McDonald, following her personal experiences of raising a daughter with a disability. Shonaquip works to ensure that children with mobility disabilities have easy access to a range of appropriate device solutions, clinical and technical support services which improve their quality of life. Shonaquip also provides consulting services to institutions wishing to become inclusive. The company has a Level Two BB-BEE rating.
The Uhambo Foundation (est 2010) grew out of Shonaquip (Pty) Ltd’s work to effect social change for all children with mobility disabilities in South Africa. As part of our model, Uhambo Foundation is a shareholder of Shonaquip (Pty) Ltd and receives all profits generated. Uhambo Foundation delivers programmes to support individuals, parents, caregivers, ECD and Day Care Centres, schools and partner organisations. The Foundation has a Level One BB-BEE rating.
The Champions of Change Trust (est 2016) builds on the work of Shonaquip as a parent-initiated organisation to empower and provide a platform for parent-driven advocacy. The Trust was gifted 20% of Shonaquip shares, and provides parent-driven input into its programmes and activities. It has a Level One BB-BEE rating.
The Empowerment through Enterprise Trust is a job-creation and entrepreneurship development entity, designed to create and sustain employment and income generation opportunities for people with disabilities and their families. It is a Level One EME (Emerging Micro Enterprise).

Our Focus Areas

Uhambo programmes support children with all disabilities and their families although our expertise lies in mobility and profound disabilities. Children with mobility and profound disabilities in less resourced countries have a multiplicity of barriers to inclusion. Based on household surveys of over 20,000 houses of children and youth with disabilities, our Social Enterprise has developed a holistic model which addresses five key areas:

Community Need

• Internationally, a staggering 32 million people have mobility disabilities that require assistive devices.
• Currently, only around three million wheelchairs are being produced annually.
• In countries like South Africa this significantly impacts children’s ability to access education.
• South Africa estimates that 7.7% of the population has a disability. This equates to 1,078,000 children under the age of 14.
• Officially, 597,973 children with disabilities in South Africa alone are in no form of education

The South African Need

• South Africa estimates that 7% of our population have disabilities.
• South Africa needs over 600 000 needs-specific, customised devices need to be produced, fitted, adjusted, supported and maintained, mostly for growing children annually.
• Most children in low income countries like SA do not have access to support services.
• South Africa estimates that 7.7% of the population has a disability. This equates to 1,078,000 children under the age of 14.
• Officially, 597,973 children with disabilities in South Africa alone are in no form of education

Cross Cutting Capacity Building Programmes

Uhambo recognises that disability inclusion requires a holistic approach addressing a range of barriers to access. While our origins are within mobility and profound disabilities, barriers to inclusion effect children with all disabilities and their families.
Our programmes are based on a needs analysis of over 21,000 households in rural, per-urban and urban poor communities in South Africa.
Uhambo is a child focused organisation, but understands that children are part of a family, supported by a range of specialist service providers all of whom are vital to address barriers to access.
Children with mobility and profound disabilities have unique challenges and Uhambo also advocates for their needs, and the needs of all children to access education and services.

Our Flagship Programmes

• The Clinical Programme providing seating services, repairs and support for devices. Caregivers, therapists and parents all receive training on devices, maintenance and posture support.
• The Community Programme provides community dialogues, parent training and capacity building programmes, developing local networks, resources and individual psychosocial case support.
• The Ndinogona Programme empowers ECD centres with the skills and resources to include children with disabilities.
• Sector Capacity Building Programme which focuses on service provider capacity.

Tel : 0217978239
Fax : 0865445914
Email :

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