Past Projects

1997 – 2015


1st Phase: 1997 to 2009 (12 years)

CBR into practice, Inclusive education research


CBR Training Community Rehabilitation Facilitators (CRFs) (1999 – 2007)

Between 1999 and 2006 CREATE trained 55 community rehabilitation facilitators (CRFs) for the Department of Health and various NGOs in KZN, Gauteng, North West and Namibia.

Time line CBR training:

  • 1999: CREATE took over the two-year CBR training course of mid-level community rehabilitation facilitators (CRFs), accredited by the Health Professions Council of South Africa (HPCSA), from the Institute of Urban Primary Health Care (IUPHC), Alexandria, Johannesburg. This course was awarded the World Health Organisation (WHO) Sasakawa Prize in 1998.
  • 2000: CREATE developed a training module on disability for community health facilitators (CHFs) and community health workers (CHWs) for Valley Trust in Botha’s Hill, Durban.
  • 2001: 13 students enrolled; included two students from Disabled People’s Organisation, Kokstad, KZN). They were joined by students from the Wits/Tintswalo Community Rehabilitation Research and Education (CORRE) programme in Mpumalanga that was closing down
  • 2002: 11 CRFs graduated in December.
  • 2003: 11 students enrolled from Gauteng, KZN and Namibia (10 completed 1st year). October 8 students enrolled from Valley Trust, sponsored by eThekweni Dept. of Health. Two-day supervisor workshops were held as well as a continuing education workshop in Wintersveldt, North West with CRFs trained 11 years previously and newly graduated CRFs and at Valley Trust.
  • 2004:
    • June: CBR Workshop at Valley Trust, Botha’s Hill, Durban, KZN. Key note speaker Prof. Sheila Wirz, University College London (UCL). Part of a conference hosted by the Fogarty Grant, Columbia University, USA.
    • August: 2nd CBR Africa Network (Afri_CAN) Conference in Malawi attended by CRFs: Bongi Zuma and Clifford Gcwensa.
    • CBR Update: Introduction to the first CBR Update (Vol. Issue 1 November)
  • 2005: HPCSA informed CREATE of changes to future accreditation of CBR course.
    • Two continuing education workshops held in KZN (July) and North West (November).
    • CBR updates: HIV/AIDS and disability (Vol. 2: Issue 1 March), Living with a spinal injury (Vol 2: Issue 2 July), Advocating for disability rights (Vol 2: Issue 3 November).
  • 2006: CBR training terminated by HPCSA; Occupational Therapy (OT) Board no longer supported multi-skilled rehabilitation workers (CRFs), preference being given to the model of training profession-specific midlevel workers viz. assistants/ technicians for Occupational Therapy and Physiotherapy. CREATE hosted an indaba to discuss HPCSA decision with 60 representatives of community leaders, people with disabilities, government departments at Redlands Conference Centre, Pietermaritzburg. HPCSA would not change its decision.
    • CBR update: Disability, Work and Employment ( 3: Issue 1 October)
  • 2007: 13 CRFs graduated in December. One-day CBR introductory workshops were held for rehabilitation managers from eThekwini, Uthukela and Amajuba districts, KZN to orientate community service therapists.
    • CBR Update: A new way of learning (Vol. 4: Issue 1 March)
    • CBR Update: What is the role of CBR workers( Vol. 4: Issue 2 August)
    • October: 3rd CBR Africa Network (Afri_CAN) Conference in Johannesburg attended by CREATE staff. Poster presentation of national study of impact of CBR on persons with disabilities by Paul Chappell and Bongi Zuma.
    • November: 1st AfriNEAD Conference in Stellenbosch attended by Sarah Rule and Bongi Zuma, funded by Dutch Red Cross


Inclusive Education Research (2001 -2009)

CREATE worked with a variety of stakeholders to promote inclusive education: viz: KZN Department of Education officials, educators, therapists, class assistants, therapy assistants, hostel parents and school governing bodies at district level and at full-service and special schools. Activities included identifying out of school learners, materials development, training and classroom support.

  • 2001: CREATE commissioned by National Department of Education and Danish Aid (DANIDA) to be involved in inclusive education project pilot study in Estcourt, KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). The Resource and Training Programme for Educator Development, in partnership with Disability Action Research Team (DART) and the KwaZamokuhle CBR project, worked with parents, learners and educators to raise awareness of inclusive education and change attitudes. Resource boxes for inclusion were distributed to all education regions in KZN.
  • 2005: KZN Inclusive Education Project (KIEP) consortium worked with KZN Dept. of Education to train institution support teams, form district support teams and mobilise the community to support inclusive education. National Dept. of Education funded Sisonke Consortium to field test inclusive education. Sarah Rule was appointed KZN provincial co-ordinator.
  • 2006: August National Dept. of Education Sisonke Consortium. Situation analysis report.
  • 2007: KIEP consortium awarded CREATE (with Sarah Rule as joint project manager) a tender through KZN Dept. of Health to build the capacity of staff at special schools and districts to manage learning requiring high levels of support



Partnerships 2001-2006:

Home-based Care Consortium, a working group of the CINDI (Children in Distress) network in Pietermaritzburg (2001) 

iNdlovu Partnership for Lifelong Learning. Further Education and Training (FET) service providers around Pietermaritzburg and received training in South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA) accreditation (2001) 

Disability Action Research Team (DART) 2001-2002.  Conducting Disability Situation Analysis for KZN Department of Health (sub-directorate rehabilitation) in KZN districts: Ethekweni (Durban) and UMkhanyakude (Manguzi) 

Dutch Coalition on Disability and Development (DCDD) international lobby venture to learn about disability rights and the upcoming UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD).  


2nd Phase: 2007 to 2011 (4 years)

Advocacy for disability rights in South Africa


Convention on Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD)

2007 (March) United Nations (UN) opened a new human rights Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) for signature and ratification. South Africa was one of the first countries to sign and ratify the CRPD on 30 November 2007. CREATE applauded the South African government for taking its commitment to human rights seriously. The Embassy of Finland funded work in five rural communities in KZN to raise awareness about the CRPD. 

Since 2008 CREATE has worked with a variety of stakeholders to raise awareness of the CRPD and lobby for  implementation by engaging with disabled people’s organisations (DPOs), traditional leaders, political councillors, municipalities and government departments as well as the Office of the Premier in KwaZulu-Natal (KZN). People with disabilities were empowered to advocate for their rights and engage with government service providers in 8/11 districts of KwaZulu-Natal. This resulted in some local improvements e.g. a disabled people’s organisation received seeds and agricultural implements from the Department of Agriculture and people with disabilities were enabled to participate in national sports events by their municipality. 

Materials were developed and translated into isiZulu to make the CRPD accessible to children and youth as well as first language isiZulu speakers and illiterate people in KZN:

  • Translation of the CRPD into isiZulu
  • Development of a picture version of the CRPD for people who are illiterate
  • Development of a comic in English and isiZulu on the CRPD for use with children and youth
  • Production of a DVD on CREATE’s advocacy work


CREATE initiated the process and authored a shadow report from the Umgungundlovu Disability Forum to the Committee on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities in Geneva, Switzerland

  • CBR Update: Disability Rights Now! (Vol. 5: Issue 1 February)
  • CBR Update: Sexuality, HIV & AIDS and Disability( Vol. 5: Issue 2 July)
  • CBR Update: What is the future of CBR in South Africa (Vol. 5: Issue 3 November


Continuing education workshops for CRFs were held in Limpopo relating to issues of children with cerebral palsy and Pietermaritzburg where CRFs and OTs developed a concept paper on how the CRPD could be implemented in their communities.


Pilot study for Invasive Alien Species Programme to include disabled people

In 2007 a consortium consisting of CREATE with Disability Action Research Team (DART) as the lead partner, Dept. of Health (Rehabilitation sub-directorate), Zizameleni Disabled Action Group, Working for Water (WfW) and Invasive Alien Species Programme (IASP), Cedara were responsible for recruiting people with disabilities from the Edendale area, Pietermaritzburg to be involved in an Expanded Public Works Programme (EPWP). They were evaluated by Sarah Johnston (occupational therapist) and 16 were chosen to be employed for a year in a programme to remove invasive alien vegetation along river courses.


Kindernothilfe e.V funded national CBR impact study by CREATE

A study in 2007 conducted by Paul Chappell and Christa Johannsmeier, staff employed by CREATE,  in six provinces of South Africa reflected the positive impact of interventions by Community Rehabilitation Facilitators (CRFs) and Community Rehabilitation Workers (CRWs) on the lives of people with disabilities, their families and communities was


Training for National Association of Child and Youth Care Workers (NACCW)

In 2008 CREATE staff orientated child and youth care workers from 25 NACCW sites around South Africa to include disabled children in their work with vulnerable children. Thereafter a learning programme based on 4-unit standards was developed including the materials and curriculum and used to train 36 child and youth care workers to work with disabled children in their communities. This programme became known as the Isibindi Project.


Facilitating disability workshops for local and district municipalities

CREATE facilitated a number of disability workshops for district and local municipalities around KwaZulu-Natal. At the end of 2008 CREATE facilitating a consultative workshop for the Umkhanyakude District Municipality to assist them to draw up their Disability Implementation Plan. CREATE conducted workshops for staff of the Msunduzi Local Municipality and the Umgungundlovu District Municipality on the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities.


Office of the Premier, KwaZulu-Natal with Legal Resources Centre and Foundation for Human Rights

2011: By partnering with the Human Rights Directorate of the Office of the Premier of KwaZulu-Natal and the South African Human Rights Commission, CREATE trained the human rights forums in the 11 districts of KZN on the CRPD, with funding from the Foundation for Human Rights (FHR).  CREATE was able to report on cases of violation of the rights of people with disabilities to the Human Rights Commission and the Equality Court with the help of the Legal Resources Centre. By testing the legal implementation of the CRPD in South Africa it is hoped that the South African government will be encouraged to abide by the Convention that it signed and ratified.

2012: CREATE started working with traditional leaders in KZN training them on human rights for people with disabilities and on justice for people with disabilities in the traditional courts.


Department of Social Development

2009: CREATE did a pilot study on CBR to spread information to social workers at provincial and regional offices and disability organisations in different provinces about CBR with funding from the national Department of Social Development.


Irish Aid training for youth with disabilities on HIV and sexuality

2011: CREATE published a pamphlet ‘The eye opener. Disability and HIV/AIDS’ in English and ‘Ngivuleke amehlo. Ucanci ingculazi nokhubazeke’ in isiZulu.


Embassy of Finland

2011: funded Enable to conduct skills development for people with disabilities



Partnerships 2007-2011: 

  1. of Social development
  2. DCDD
  3. Embassy of Finland
  4. Enable
  5. of Agriculture: IASP & WfW
  6. Irish Aid
  7. Kindernothilfe e.V (KNH)
  8. NACCW
  9. SA National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund


3rd Phase: 2012 to 2015 (4 years)

Disability Inclusion for Oxfam Australia Partners

2012:  Oxfam Australia approached CREATE to assist five of their partner organisations based in KwaZulu-Natal who were being funded  for projects related to water, sanitation and hygiene (WASH) i.e. Woza Moya, Fancy Stitch, Maputaland Development and Information Centre, Tholulwazi Uzivikele (Umkhanyakude district, northern KwaZulu-Natal) and Save the Children KZN, to become fully disability inclusive. Oxfam had not previously embarked on such an initiative in South Africa.   CREATE researched disability inclusive development and developed a questionnaire to conduct a baseline study of each partner organisation. CREATE staff learnt a lot about making the provision of safe water, appropriate sanitation and hygiene accessible to rural people with disabilities. The partner organisations in turn taught CREATE about their respective fields of work and the context of different geographical areas of rural communities where they are involved.  During 2012 to 2015 staff and home-based carers at Woza Moya and Tholulwazi Uzivikele were trained to include people with disabilities in their work. Fancy Stitch, Woza Moya and the Ingwavuma municipality were motivated to build accessible toilets for people with disabilities, including public toilets. Disability inclusion became an item on the agenda at all meetings and events hosted by Oxfam Australia with partners in South Africa.  

2013: CREATE wrote a background paper on disability in South Africa to assist Oxfam and its partners to implement disability inclusion.

2014: a report on research conducted by CREATE on ‘Disability Inclusion: Possibilities and Progress. A Case Study in uMfolozi Local Municipality, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa’ was completed. Donors were acknowledged: Embassy of Finland Local Co-operation Fund, Foundation for Human Rights, OXFAM Australia

Unfortunately funding from OXFAM Australia to South Africa stopped at the end of 2015.


Inclusive development for people with disabilities. Supporting the development of Community Based Rehabilitation in South Africa. Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission (FELM)

2014: Baseline data on the understanding and implementation of CBR in South Africa was collected. It was an appropriate time as current developments included the conceptualisation of the ‘Framework and Strategy for Disability and Rehabilitation in South Africa’ by the National Dept. of Health and the ‘White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities’ by the National Dept. of Social Development.

2015: Report on a study conducted by CREATE. ‘Understanding Community Based Rehabilitation in South Africa.’

2019: Publication in African Journal of Disability


Partnerships 2012-2015:

  1. DG Murray Trust
  2. Embassy of Finland Local Co-operation Fund, Finnish Evangelical Lutheran Mission (FELM),
  3. FirstRand Foundation
  4. FNB Trust
  5. Foundation for Human Rights (FHR)
  6. Fulton Trust
  7. Kindernothilfe e.V. (KNH)
  8. Ilifa Labantwana
  9. Irish Aid
  10. Jabulani Rural Foundation
  11. National Lottery Distribution Trust Fund
  12. Netherlands Leprosy Relief
  13. Norwegian Association of Disabled:
  14. OXFAM Australia