THE SHUMEEZ SCOTT FOUNDATION
This is a short story of how The Shumeez Scott Foundation (SSF) become in exitance and how more Young Adults joined the foundation:
Shumeez Scott was born on the 30th November 1999, the day of Shumeez birth her mother found out only then that she is having a Down Syndrome child, no family member form either side of the family have Down Syndrome in their family , thus this would be the first child with Down Syndrome in their family, Bahia Shumeez mother embraced her bundle of joy with open arms a creation from the Almighty, for the first 3 years Shumeez was in and out of hospital, born with a croob in her throat, so if she gets a fever it can close up at any time and she will not be able to breath. They would have to make a whole in her throat, having server asthma also had an effect on her health, but through all this she was a fighter and remained strong.
Shumeez attended an ordinary crèche called Thakiera’s and Lobelia Happy Tots where she was treated like any other ordinary child. She went to a special needs school in Goodwood Filia, she finished there when she was 18yrs old. In 2011 she was in a taxi strike accident, which left one side of her face badly damaged and she nearly lost her eye. She underwent two facial operations an eye operation. She also had to go through the divorce of her parents but yet she was the rock of the family. Shumeez used to love the camera from a young age, but it was not something that I took seriously until she was discovered by a professional photographer, Freda Roetjens. There she has really made it known that she is not just an ordinary Down Syndrome young girl BUT she has a love for the camera as well for modelling. She was then awarded a title “Face of an Angel” and this was just the beginning, she took it to another level where she was discovered by an American pageant company call MWI International. They awarded her with the first title Miss MWI PHENOMENAL SA 2018 and from there Shumeez undertook a trip to India in 2018.
On her trip we discovered she had more to offer of herself and was determined to make a difference in society. She then opened her own foundation The Shumeez Scott Foundation (SSF) – Young Adults with Special needs. She reached out to other young adults with special needs to say they have a right to live life to the fullest and she would give it her all to break the stigma in society. In 2019 she went to Gambia and was again awarded as International Miss MWI PHENOMENAL 2019. There she took a journey of interacting with underprivileged children and visited various homes. On the return she then started by opening her own massage parlor. She extended the invite out again to all special needs as now she realized that there would need to empower themselves in the working environment. She started training herself as well as her colleagues how to do massages, as it was a great passion she always had. Also, we discovered that they were being deprived a lot from being part of society. Today, The Shumeez Scott foundation has almost approximately 30 members on board and still operates from the back of her mom’s garage at home. She eventually would like to open up her own learning / social center where she can have everyone coming in on a daily basis and not just weekends. While Shumeez continues in following her dream of becoming a super model and an ambassador for other young adults that are differently abled she remains positive and is an inspiration to many other special need young adults. Her motivation to others out there is, never give up, believe in yourself and pursue your dreams
“IF YOU CAN DREAM IT, YOU CAN ACHIEVE IT”
We’ll be introducing some of the members and there achievements, each one come from a different back ground and have here own difficulty sins birth, there is goals that they have set for themselves and had achieved, and how they got inspired thru The Shumeez Scott Foundation and this is making our hearts very pleasing to see how that achieve their goals and strive for betterment and grow with in themselves.
Taariq Martin was born on the 24th November 2000, he is the eldest of 7 children., he was born with Down Syndrome, with a defect on his left foot, arm and hand which left him disabled, but thru all of his challenges and operations on a younger age Taariq have excelled into a magnificent person, He attended Arcadia Primary School where the principal realized he needed special care. He then attended Astra School in Montana until the age of 18 years old. Taariq like soccer, outdoor life adventures, movies, clear simple instructions and playing games on his PlayStation, he joined The Shumeez Scott Foundation and enjoy every moment of it, he believes by joining he will achieve and reach his goal one day to become an actor and to travel the world, Taariq was awarded the title of Mr. MWI PHENOMINAL SA 2019 and have reached part of his dream by traveling but that did not stop him there, last year November 2020 Taariq passed his learners licensee which was a big accomplishment for him, Taariq say: “ Having Down Syndrome or being born disable means nothing to me, I’m special like everyone else. I do not let people judge me for having Down Syndrome or being physical disable. The important thing is how I feel about myself, on the inside, I feel beautiful. Lots of people with little kids or babies with Down Syndrome or being born physical disable tell me, they aren’t afraid of the future for their child because of what I’m doing to help people understand better”. Taariq is a very driven young man, when he sets a goal for himself, he goes for it.
Nabeel Oostendorp was born on the 26th December 1995, his mother writes, I was seven and a half months pregnant when the doctors notified me that something was wrong with my baby and suggested that I terminate my pregnancy, this ray of sunshine was born and I welcomed him with all my love, when he was born, I thought he was not going to make it through the night, but the Almighty have shown me wrong. Nabeel faced many challenges from birth, trouble with his bladder caused him to lose a kidney, along with Down Syndrome, Nabeel could not speak or walk until the age of five, He attended creche / school until the age of seven, then attended Mary Harding school for special need until the age of eighteen years old but could never master the ability to read or write. At the age of thirteen, Nabeel was involved in a car accident and almost lost his left leg which have left him with permanent damage but with his strong will and spirit he preserved and never let any of his challenges hold him back. Nabeel was awarded the title of Mr. MWI PHENOMENAL SA 2019, an auspicious achievement for him. He is very brave and likes to participate in any sport and other activities, he enjoys the coons very much. Nabeel is a very open and loving person, always take care of others needs before his, everywhere he goes he makes friends. He never had a dream but he says just being alive has become a dream, and he lives it to the fullest.
Lee-Lyn Watson was born 29th September 1994, her mother writes, At the time of birth, they always knew that she was destined for great things. It started in her earlier days of schooling, where she resided in a small town called Paarl. Lee-lyn is Artistic but that did not keep her back, with the talent and her fondness for drawing and painting Lee-lyn takes all challenges head on, in 2018 she received a certificate of acknowledgement and excellent progress for her singing from Sanette Marx Singing School. This was not the end for Lee-lyn, through the fashion show of The Shumeez Scott Foundation she developed her love for modelling as well and in 2019 was awarded the title Miss MWI PHENOMENAL SA 2019. Lee-lyn’s long and short term plans are painting exhibitions to show case the talent of people with similar disabilities in Cape Town and in Amsterdam Netherlands (a project she is currently busy working on). She intends to tour Africa and the broader world to serve as a role model for all children living with Down Syndrome and other intellectual disabilities, to expand on community service project she is currently busy with through The Shumeez Scott Foundation, she plans to visit old age homes, uplifting through massaging, etc. Lee-Lyn is a very dedicated and passionate lady.
Widaad Karriem was born on 04th December 1995, her mother was informed by the doctor of her Down Syndrome and she accepted the news immediately and felt blessed to have a child with Down Syndrome. With the birth of Widaad her mother fell in love with her immediately looking like a Chines doll, Widaad was for the first two years in and out of hospital with pneumonia and with her joints being so loose like a rag doll she strived through all the difficulties. She later attend Belporta School where she finished her matric. Widaad loves make-up and when it comes to must match, she also belongs to an aerobics fitness class where she keeps in shape. Widaad was awarded the Miss MWI PHENOMENAL 2019, where she has developed herself motivation. Widaad is an active member of The Shumeez Scott Foundation.
Zaitoon Titus was born on 06th May 1993, her mother was informed that the doctor at the hospital was not happy with the baby’s heartbeat, she was then booked in immediately and was put on a heart monitor, Zaitoon was born the next day murmur (hole in the heart) and also had yellow jaundice, she was born colic as well thus the first few month she spent most of her time in hospital and as she progressed the doctors saw that she was born with a white pearl on the apple of her eye, thus make her blind in her one eye. She also had a few operations on her feet and was wheelchair bound, with her will power and and strong ability she overcame and started to walk, with the grace of the Almighty Zaitoon is on no medication. She attended normal school at Ragmania Primary were they discovered that she could not write and was referred to Mary Harding where she matriculated and after that she stayed at home, during that time she was an entrepreneur where she had a small sweet stand on Saturdays in Gatesville Athlone, she joined The Shumeez Scott Foundation two years ago and thoroughly enjoy every minute when she is at the Foundation, she loves the classes that are being offered to them, love interacting with the other members where they all chat, dance and listen to music, which she really enjoys.
Firdous Daniels was born on the 27th January 1980, she was born with Down Syndrome, at the age of three years she underwent an eye operation which caused her unclear vision. She started school at the age of seven years old at Mary Harding and matriculated at the age of twenty one. Firdous lost her father at the age of ten and then her mother when she was thirty five years old, at point in her life, she lost the will power to life. Her Aunt then introduced her to The Shumeez Scott Foundation, with the assistance of the director of SSF and her family they brought Firdous out of her depression she was in and she became a whole new light of sunshine, no negativity for Firdous anymore, just looking ahead, she enjoys dancing, music and singing (she is known at SSF as Whitney Houston). Firdous is a confident, loveable, friendly and very out spoken young lady.
Mishka Dreyer was born on 15th July 1995, she weighed 2.2kg and was 42cm long. Mishka come into the world with her feet first, and was diagnosed with Down Syndrome and a murmur (hole in the heart), from birth she has been in and out of hospital, she has been through many operations, including her stomach as she had reflux. She also contracted phenomena and was also treated for tuberculosis, she attended more the four different clinics at Red Cross hospital during her toddler stage. Doctor later diagnosed her with Cerebral Palsy (lack of oxygen on the brain which has lead to her brain capacity to be years behind). She started walk very late as a child. During preschool she started walking due to all the interaction with other children. She matriculated at the age of eighteen, she lost her father in the same year, living with her mother and grandmother she become very independent from her mother, Mishka is a loving, strong and driven young lady. She became her mother’s rock, her confidant, strength and life. She joined The Shumeez Scott foundation two years ago and that have become a part of her life.
Nasreen Davids was born on 28th January 1999, being a twin, she was diagnosed after her mother noticed two days later that she had the characteristics of a Down Syndrome child. Tests were done and results come back positive, test results also showed Atrioventricular septal defect (AVSD), this is where there are holes between the chambers of the right and left sides of the heart and the valves controlling the blood flow were not properly formed. Nasreen went for two major heart operations and recovered and became strong, it was a miracle, as if she rose form the death. She attended creche where she developed and become stronger. As a toddler she underwent another operation on her knee to repair her patella and ligaments. She finished school at the age of eighteen and lost her strongest support her mother, which at that time in her life Nasreen could not understand but slowly as everything was explained she understood. Nasreen loves music, dancing and singing, she joined SSF and started modeling where she participates in the Ms. MWI PHENOMENAL and was crowned Miss MWI PHENOMENAL AFRICA 2020, this was a proud moment for Nasreen’s family.
The Shumeez Scott Foundation (SSF) is a non-profit organization, focusing on individuals with Down syndrome and intellectual disabilities. We motivate young people with disabilities to believe in themselves to become self-sustainable, thus we are hard at work and striving to build up capital for our own premises to provide these young adults with sustainability as well for transport, we also currently offer small workshops, like arts and craft, Knitting and Baking, there have been a couple of workshops done last year 2020 already and we are looking forward to continue with these workshops as soon as the COVID levels are lifted.
SSF also do feeding out reaches, where we go to different communities and feed those that are underprivilege and give out to the children something sweet, these outreach programs are done by the members of the foundation themselves in their committees. On 29th November 2020, we had a food outreach for Shumeez Scott her 21st Birthday, all she wanted was to feed the underprivilege children and give them something special that was her which for her birthday, which the Foundation did as it was a request from one of the members, each member get to do something when they reach 21 years old.
December was a month of a lot of heart ache, sadness and a lot of patience, this was a time for SSF to grieve and also to find their strength in one another. On 29th December 2020 we lost our very first member of SSF Ilhaam Karriem a 21 year old, young lady, with a strong will and spirit, she crept into your heart so quickly and you could not say no to her, Ilhaam Karriem passed on of COVID-19, that is a danger to some young people that have Down Syndrome, it affect their immune system quicker than any other normal person, Ilhaam left a foot print in each and everyone’s heart at SSF and for that we had a memorial tribute for her on the 8th February 2021, food was distributed in her honor in her community that she had touched.
SSF are desperately in need of their own premises and transport as we have difficulty getting all our members to workshops. It’s hard for a household that only makes end meat on social grant to come to some workshops. The Directors of SSF use their private vehicles to fetch these young adults to added these workshops and other events.
SSF thank you for giving us the opportunity to write about few of our members.
Contact details: Office no: (021) 023 1466 | Cell: 071 443 6014
Name of Account: The Shumeez Scott Foundation
Bank Name: Standard Bank
Account no: 310931460
Account Type: Business Current Account
Branch Code: 026609 / 051001 (Universal)
Swift Address: SBZA ZA JJ