Since 1994, all government departments were undergoing major changes. Like others, the Health Department as well as the Cullinan Care and Rehabilitation Center was also required to undergo transformation. As newly appointed occupational therapist, Ms Linda Krause was first introduced to the concept of Transformation in the Health Department in May 2002 .
With respect to the intellectually disabled the department had the following views:
- The ICP (Intellectually Challenged Person) is equally the responsibility of the state, the community and the family. Previously, the state took responsibility for the entire package of the ICP in large institutions such as Cullinan Care and Rehabilitation Center and Witrand.
- The Department wanted to convert these centres into actual rehabilitation centres, where the ICP could be taken in for short periods, rehabilitation could take place and the person would then be returned to his/her home or other facility.
NGO’s (non government organisations) had to be established to look after the ICP in the persons own community.
- The state would meet its responsibility by government grants, subsidies and project development funds. The parents / family contribute financially by paying a third part of the cost of maintenance and so does the community by way churches, businesses, and local government.
Cullinan Care had an unusual problem, however, in the sense that for the past 15 – 20 years is did not have a constant and full-time superintendent or CEO. It was managed by a management committee, which had all the responsibilities but not been empowered to do the transformation, neither was this power transferred to the senior staff members and unions. Never the less, senior staff members formed a transformation committee to do the planning for transformation although they would not be empowered to implement it.
- Thorough research done by the transformation committee a workable plan was drawn up and submitted to Regional Office and the unions to:
prevent residents to be randomly and on a large scale transferred to inappropriate institutions
- prevent layoffs, transfer, or redeployment of staff
- fit into the Transformation guidelines, i.e.: focusing on short-term rehabilitation and support to primary caregivers, the cessation of all new permanent intakes of ICPs and gradual transfer of residents to appropriate NGOs in their communities of origin.
The unions, in an attempt to protect their members, scuppered this attempt at transformation . The National Department of Health took control of the process and in early 2007 and the CEO of Cullinan Care was instructed to begin the immediate transfer of slight and moderately disabled residents to other facilities. Since the beginning of 2007, more than 100 people were transferred. Thirty of them to the Waverley Care Centre in Germiston, a large psychiatric institution under Lifecare management, with 600 patients.
In July 2007, Ms Linda Krause (occupational therapist), as a former employee of Cullinan Care was approached by Hannah Jacobus, co-ordinator of the Department of Health’s community projects, with the request to establish a daycare center for ICPs of Rayton and surrounding areas. Ms Krause asked a colleague, Ms Marie Pretorius, who is a senior nurse, to assist her in investigating the possibility, and asked friends and family to pray about the matter. Within weeks of this, Ms Hanna Jacobus approached the two and asked them to provide accommodation to 26 persons Cullinan Care urgently needed to find a place for.
Both had long been engaged in Cullinan Care and have a real passion to make the world a better place for the ICP. In the aftermath of the shocking program on Cullinan Care by Carte Blanche, and rumors that Waverley Care Centre was really not suitable for these persons, the ladies decided, under God’s guidance, to tackle this task.
Mr Chris Krause, and Marie and Lukas Jacobs (parents of a boy with cerebral palsy, who married a ICP young woman) soon joined the effort. Marie immediately started managing the finances with a starting balance of R0.00, she opened a bank account, started looking for donations. In May 2007 a founders meeting was held and Qumi Homes was established as a “free association”, similar to most church congregations.
A management board was elected considting of
- Dr. Paul Lombard – President
- Ms Linda Krause – Vice Chairperson
- Ms Jeanette vd Merwe – Secretary
- Ms Marie Jacobs – Treasurer
- Mr Chris Krause – additional member
- Mr Johan Kruger- additional member
Within a few weeks a sponsor for the rent of the first house was found and at the beginning of August 2007 or first to residents, Barbara Steenhuisen and Pieter Horn moved in. At that point we did not have any staff yet so committee members took turns to act as house mothers and fathers.
Since then Qumi has expanded to house 42 ICPs, and a further seven attend daycare. We have been able to purchace our own house thanks to a big donation and rent two other houses and a smallholding outside Rayton.