Woman to woman……to women!

(Written by: Gabrielle Smith)

Lasting change starts with just one woman

This week for #TherapistThursday, in celebration of International Womens Day, we are celebrating Shannon Morgan, an Occupational Therapist with a heart for everything rural.

Shannon grew up in a small town, Willowmore, in the Karoo – rural living is in her blood. After graduating from UCT in 2007, she did her community service year at Zithulele Hospital in the Eastern Cape. She liked it so much that she then stayed on till the end of 2012. Shannon then worked for the CP Association in PE for a year in 2013, but Zithulele called her home, this time as a project coordinator for the Rural Ability programme, for the Jabulani Foundation.

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With the Jabulani Foundation commitment to empowerment through innovation and out-of-the-box thinking, Shannon found her niche. As someone who is passionate about a holistic approach to supporting people, Shannon has been able to kick-start programmes that support people to improve their own lives and circumstances, which will in turn positively impact on their health and the health of their children. Through empowering people to help themselves to address key issues in their lives (securing a viable income), more people will have the capacity to take care of their own health, and the health of their children.

This is how we met Nomalanga, a woman from Zithulele with a child with CP. Through the Rural Ability programme, Shannon was able to assist Nomalanga to attend a poultry course and also attend a community savings group. With this support, Nomalanga was able to secure and maintain a steady income for her family – but Shannon saw that Nomalanga wasn’t satisfied with being able to support her own family, she now had the capacity to give back.  

Shannon had maintained relationship with Malamulele Onward since linking with us during an outreach in her Community Service year. Identifying Nomalanga’s passion for empowering others, Shannon identified Nomalanga for further training and support, this time as a MO Parent Facilitator. Nomalanga now supports therapists to run CP clinics, she runs educational workshops on CP and conducts home visits to families who need further support – she is about to begin a community savings group with mothers of children with CP in her area.

And this is why we are celebrating Shannon for International Women’s Day, she is at the source of a massive change that is happening in the Zithulele community. In reality, ‘from woman to woman…to women’ translates into; from Shannon to Nomalanga….to an entire community!


P.S. in her spare time, Shannon also;

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Malamulele Diary

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Malamulele Onward NPC | Company Registration No. 2006/032287/08 | Registered with the Department of Social Development as a Non-Profit Organization 056-807-NP0 | Public Benefit Organization 930025084