Our History

In the past, the idea of supporting the development of African people with disabilities, especially children, was rather unique. The majority of them stayed at home with little education, medical care or training.

Seeing this situation, in 1958, the Mariannhill Missionary Sisters of the Precious Blood founded a special school for severely physically disabled children in the former Transkei, today Eastern Cape.

The need for further development in rehabilitation and training for them became apparent as soon as the first students reached the schooling age limit or were unable to continue due to academic limitations. Consequently, the Ikhwezi Lokusa Rehabilitation and Sheltered Employment Society was founded on October 23, 1972. The founders wanted to help the youth meet the demands of society and to develop themselves to full capacity. Those who did not attend Ikhwezi Lokusa School were also accepted and assisted in achieving their potential.

Four workshops (pottery, sewing, arts/craft and leatherwork) were created to provide informal and realistic skills training.

With the increasing need to further develop the training, a formalized program was offered with future employment options being a goal. Thus, Ikhwezi Lokusa was re-named a Rehabilitation and Development Society in 2004.


It was hoped that after their training and with the assistance of the Rehabilitation team the young disabled would be able to set up their own businesses at home or in larger centres or apply for jobs in the open labour market.

Although other institutions have been founded in the last decades and more is being done for the care and development of the disabled, they are still not fully accepted into the school system, into the labour market or into society.

Ikhwezi Lokusa maintains its essential assessment/educational/outreach role for the people with disabilities of the Eastern Cape.