Donation brings joy to paraplegics

2018-05-16 06:02
During the handover of the bus for paraplegic learners at the Oasis Skills Development Centre in Upington are from the left Hennie Marais (Gordonia Motors), Willie Foutie (driver, Oasis Skills Development Centre), Machel Potgieter (one of the learners at the Oasis Skills Development Centre) and Paul May (project coordinator of the Sishen Iron Ore Company-Community Development Trust). Photo: Supplied

During the handover of the bus for paraplegic learners at the Oasis Skills Development Centre in Upington are from the left Hennie Marais (Gordonia Motors), Willie Foutie (driver, Oasis Skills Development Centre), Machel Potgieter (one of the learners at the Oasis Skills Development Centre) and Paul May (project coordinator of the Sishen Iron Ore Company-Community Development Trust). Photo: Supplied

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A bus, manufactured with the need of paraplegic learners in mind, was donated to the Oasis Skills Development Centre in Upington.

The 31-seater bus was donated by the Sishen Iron Ore Company-Community Development Trust (SIOC-cdt) on Wednesday, 25 April, during a ceremony.

The ceremony was also attended by the learners.

“The centre is extremely grateful towards the SIOC-cdt for taking heed of the call of the organisation to consider, in such a tangible way, the needs of people with disabilities,” Marina Johannesen of the centre said.

The bus can carry wheelchair bound learners and is fitted with a lift to enable easier access.

Various items with therapeutic and stimula­ting value were also donated.

These include custo­mised wheelchairs, standing frames, side positioners, cushions, balls and therapy room equipment for the disabled learners.

The donation is part of SIOC-cdt’s welfare and disability programme and is valued at R2,3 million.

In a statement Kgo­motso Zimase, marketing and communications officer, said the donated items were manufactured by the Uhambo Foundation. This was done after individual assessments of each learner’s mobility requirements and challenges.

Management and volunteers at the centre have been trained in using, assembling and fixing the equipment as required on a regular basis.

The Oasis Skills Deve­lopment Centre is a non-profit organisation, established in 1999 to provide basic academic education, therapeutic activities, stimulation and skills transfer to people (mostly children) with disabilities.

The centre sustains this goal through revenue made from ancillary income-generating activities.

Oasis currently has an enrolment of 87 disabled and 11 non-disabled learners

SIOC-cdt also donated a similar bus to the Helen Bishop Orthopaedic Aftercare Centre in Kimberley in February.

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