Durban resident, Grant Oosthuyzen, had a vision to teach people with disabilities to work and offer hope, purpose and empowerment to the community. One year ago Get Inspired was born with the vision to get people out of their centers and homes so they can live life and have purpose. Get Inspired teaches woodworking and arts & crafts to the disabled so they can sell the products and make some income. Get Inspired operated from Westville Baptist Church but due to COVID were no longer able to meet.

“I think success stories are when we can get a disabled person to hold sandpaper or a paint brush, or when someone makes R25 off a product. We think: “What is R25? Nothing.” But for the disabled person, they can buy deodorant or toothpaste. That humbles because you take little things in life for granted.”

Grant is 29 and was born with a disability called cerebral palsy, he was without oxygen for 45 minutes: stillborn. Doctors gave him a week to live, he defied the odds was discharged a month later. The doctors gave Grant little hope but his family rallied to allow him to live life to the fullest. 

He went on to do just that. Grant went to school at Browns School and Open Air, then graduated Top 10 from Damelin in his graphics design course. He now stays in his own house and can do some things on his own like get in and out of bed, watch TV, do washing, use his computer and send messages on his phone: all with his feet. Grant has a full-time caregiver to assist with the rest and an assistant helps with his work during the week.

Grant also represented KZN and South Africa in a sport called Boccia, he’s completed the Amashova Cycle Race – twice, gone sky diving, surfing and ballroom dancing. He strives to inspire and encourage the disabled, leading by example.

Grant used his qualification to assist QuadPara with graphics design and always admired their computer programme run from the resource center. Unfortunately the programme closed but, keen to provide more opportunity to the disabled community, Grant approached QuadPara with a plan to repurpose the resource center into the new Get Inspired workshop. With the approval of QASA and the generous efforts of Built It Pinetown and Orange Operations, Get Inspired was able to give hope, as its mission intended.

On Saturday 31st October 2020, the Grand Opening of the Get Inspired Workshop was held, for all to see the new facilities and enjoy an event where all are welcome. The event catered food, provided entertainment and had gift bags on offer. The festivities culminated with a heartfelt speech by Grant who operated his presentation with a laptop and his toes: it was incredible to see how people adapt. Grant then asked his mother, Jeanette Oosthuyzen, to cut the ribbon and everyone was welcomed in to see the new workshop and facilities. Grant’s vision of the workshop was brought to life by the Build It Pinetown and Orange Operations team, who generously stepped in to renovate the premises. The workshop offers areas with adapted tools and machinery plus wheelchair accessibility!

With these new premises, Get Inspired is able to take another stride and to continue their mission to provide hope and purpose.

By Jodie Kroone

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