Good Morning Angels: Supporting those who give a future to differently abled children
Listen Live Upload Donate

Good Morning Angels: Supporting those who give a future to differently abled children

Marco Gomes is a 44-year-old man, proudly employed with a full life. He works at the Lusito School for Differently Abled Children, where he himself was a learner since the age of five. 

GMA Marco Gomes
GMA Marco Gomes/Supplied

BACKGROUND:  Marco Gomes was just two months old, Marco was diagnosed with cerebral anoxia and had a heart operation. The condition prevented the oxygen supply to his brain, which impaired his mental development. This rendered him dependant on his mother. When he was old enough, she enrolled him at the Lusito School. Marco thrived at the school and with the correct assistance and understanding, not only graduated at the school but became an employee. Marco helps with general maintenance and also to feed children - who like himself at one point - cannot do it themselves. According to Marco’s mom, Lourdes he loves working much more than school holidays. “Without Lusito School, Marco would not be the person he is today. He lives for helping those children. I think because he understands the importance of receiving help from someone that truly cares about you.” 

The Lusito School, located in the south of Johannesburg, started off as a small day-care center and has developed into a fully-fledged school, where 80 differently abled children from all over South Africa receive the assistance and education they need. Lusito School cares for individuals with Cerebral Palsy, learning disabilities, traumatic brain injury, Down’s Syndrome and other syndromes.

According to Stats SA, people living with a disability make up 7,5% of the population. 

The school is self-funded and managed by the Lusito Association, a non-profit organisation whose function is to raise funds for and maintain the Lusito School. The association’s biggest fundraising event is the Lusito Land Festival which will take place from 20 April to the 22nd April, and then from the 26th April to 28th April 2019, at Cayman Road, Johannesburg South. 

REQUEST FOR: The Lusito School for Differently Abled Children, like Marco 

ANGEL 1: Anita Baumann from Alf’s Tippers 

SPONSORING: Alf’s Tippers will contribute R20 000,00 towards the Lusito School to support their education of differently abled children

ANGEL 2: The Good Morning Angels Fund NPC 

SPONSORING: The GMA Fund will match the donation also contributing R20 000,00 to the Lusito School for Differently Abled Children

ORIGINAL REQUESTS: 

Dear Good Morning Angels,

The Lusito School is more than an institution that teaches and cares for differently abled children, it is a place where hope is infectious, and children’s lives are changed for the better forever.   

One such example is Marco Gomes, who despite being differently abled, has overcome worldly expectations and progressed from being a student at the Lusito School to being an invaluable member of staff. 

The human spirit can endure, but more so, it can soar despite adversity. Marco embodies this principle and is an inspiration to everyone else around him.

Marco suffered from cerebral anoxia when he was a toddler. At the tender age of two months, doctors had to operate on his heart to assist his oxygen-starved brain. The cerebral anoxia affected Marco’s mental development, rendering him completely dependent on the aid of his mother and later, the assistance of his teachers at the Lusito School. 

But in spite of this, Gomes managed to not only graduate but has become a long-standing employee at the school. 

"Marco came to the Lusito School when he was five years old. He has been working there for 14 years. He is part of Lusito School, and Lusito is a huge part of Marco’s life, so much so that he struggles when it’s the holidays. His job fills him with so much pride. As a mother you always want the best for your children and having a purpose is important in a person’s life. This job offers Marco that,” Lourdes Gomes, his mother, says. 

Marco assists teachers in the classroom and feeds those children that are too young or incapable of feeding themselves, Molina continues. 

“He also paints and fixes whatever is broken around the school. Because he has been here so long, everybody in the community knows Marco. He gets along with everyone and you can see that he truly enjoys his job.” 

But his mom admits it hasn’t always been easy. “It has been a long road for all of us. I’ve had to teach Marco to read and handle himself, as you are aware, most things in this world don’t cater for differently abled people and most things can be a hazard to them. Even now, I’m always mothering him,” Gomes says facetiously. 

The Lusito Land Festival is the ultimate cultural fun for the whole family. The festival offers delectable cuisine, live performances by top local and community musicians, a play area for children and a host of entertainment to keep everyone busy. 

The proceeds raised from the festival all go towards funding the Lusito School. 

Please support the festival and the school, to enable us to keep giving joy, hope and a future to children like Marco.

Regards,

Deolinda Molina (Principal)

Show's Stories