Orion is a therapeutic and training centre for almost 200 children and adults with mental, physical and intellectual disabilities based in Atlantis, Cape Town. They recently launched their Enabling Art Centre with seven profoundly disabled adults and five children from their day-care project. Not only will this project enable and liberate profoundly disabled artists, encouraging them to use their creative ideas and talents to elevate them from limitations to possibilities but it will also be used to create opportunities to stimulate social dialogue and intervention.
Orion's other projects include the day-care centre for 36 children (aged 18 months to 18 years) with mild to profound disabilities; a permanent residential facility for 60 residents including a semi-frail care home for the aged and frail; day care for 30 profoundly disabled adults and two labour work centres which serve as income generating projects.
Trainees are empowered via contract work from the automotive and textile industries including the assembly of accessories, the recycling of hangers for clothes, the weighing/packaging of food ingredients and the cutting/ mounting of fibreglass components for electrical conductors.
Orion has already successfully trained and deployed 34 people with disabilities into the open labour market. Orion is committed to becoming financially sustainable but still relies heavily (45% of income) on support from donors. Their income generating projects provide 35% of income and 20% is through state subsidies.