Quad paras wish to play their part in society

2017-05-25 06:00
<Members from the Quad Para Association Port Elizabeth (front form left) Dewald Brown, Lafras Moolman, Diann Marx (Quad House manager), Akhona Hashibi and Brent Petersen. Photo:HEILIE COMBRINCK

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The Quad Para Association of the Eastern Cape (QAEC) has been around for the past 27 years, though pretty much behind the scenes. This, a young eager team of quadriplegics now wish to change, as they want to be seen, known and heard in society.

The Quad House at 47 Worraker Street was established by quadriplegic couple John and Lynette Muller during October 1990 to accommodate members of the Quad Para Association.

“Their intention was to create an environment for quadriplegcs and paraplegics who had very little or no assistance from the outside and no opportunity to generate an income for themselves,” said Lafras Moolman, chairperson of the Quad House in Port Elizabeth.

“Sadly the Mullers have both passed on and the house has fallen to management by others who unfortunately have let the premises run down to a bad state.”

Presently Quad House, which functions totally separately from QAEC, has six residents with room for one more.

The QAEC is a non-profit organisation and is entirely dependent on donations and sponsors. It is involved in various projects where they uplift people with disabilities in the community whether through skills training opportunities, peer support or outreach projects like the handing-over of wheelchairs to people who can’t afford it.

According to Moolman, quadriplegics and paraplegics do receive disability grants of R1 420 per month and this subsidy directly goes towards the monthly rent of a room.

“Our Quad House residents are entirely dependent on donations and sponsors to purchase much needed personal and basic items such as groceries and toiletries,” said Moolman.

“Living conditions are very basic and there is massive room for improvements to make the living environment safer, more accommodating and to lift the standard of living.

“Quad House does have a vehicle available for the residents, but they themselves are to pay for the petrol in the event that they may need to visit a doctor or any other such requirement,” said Moolman.

Some of the other needs at Quad House include maintenance of the building issues, basic groceries and toiletries, monthly wages for carers and for the disabled members to be incorporated into the community.

“This is only the tip of the iceberg. We invite people to become involved at Quad House, to serve on our committee or to help us to make a difference in the community,” said Moolman.

They are also in the process of forming “Friends of QAEC” and updating their membership database for quadriplegics and paraplegics. If members for instance need batteries for their electric wheelchairs they apply through QAEC, free of charge, as the association has a standing agreement with SABAT in the supplying of these batteries.

On June 6th the team of QAEC will be visiting Paterson High School in Shauderville as part of their outreach programmes.

  • For more information contact Lafras Moolman at 084 661 5264, Diann Marx 041 364 2271 or e-mail qaec@iburst.co.za

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