BAIC SA hands wheelchairs to residents with limited mobility

2017-11-01 06:00
; The donation of mobility aides including wheelchairs during automotive vehicle manufacturer BAIC’s community outreach programme for Transport Month.          Photo:SUPPLIED

; The donation of mobility aides including wheelchairs during automotive vehicle manufacturer BAIC’s community outreach programme for Transport Month. Photo:SUPPLIED

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BAIC South Africa recently held a handover ceremony at Emmanuel Haven in Motherwell where they delivered 50 wheelchairs to two community-based organisations and 40 to individuals with limited mobility in Motherwell, Wells Estate and Kamvelihle.

The donation formed part of the vehicle manufacturer’s CSI programmes for communities in close vicinity to the new BAIC plant in the Coega IDZ.

“We as BAIC consider CSI very important and this is the first of a series of initiatives that seek to empower the people of Nelson Mandela Bay,” chief financial officer of BAIC South Africa Batandwa Mdyesha said.

He explained that mobility impairment became especially challenging when community care organisations and individuals with mobility impairments had limited resources to obtain mobility aids such as wheelchairs, crutches, or walkers.

“It was important for us to critically examine what mobility and movement meant at grassroots level in communities during this year’s October Transport Month theme, Together we move South Africa forward.

“In order for us to move our community forward, we saw a close connection between the theme of Transport Month and the needs of community members in Motherwell following extensive research, outreaches and consultations to identify human mobility needs.”

Through input from the nine Motherwell ward councillors, dialogue with community leaders and the inputs of several non-profit organisations, BAIC SA’s community relations team were able to identify beneficiaries for the wheelchair donations over a three-week period.

“This has been very kind support. I could not walk around in the old age home and I am very happy to receive this kind of aid from BAIC. This is a very comfortable chair,” Ester Zweni from Ethembeni Old Age Home said.

For Eunice Adams, the wheelchair now meant mobility for her mother.

“My mother likes to cook and after she lost her ability to walk she stopped cooking. This means a lot to her as she can now cook for us like the old times. We are so grateful to BAIC,” she said.

Sharing the same sentiments, Thandeka Bam, an NU7 resident in Motherwell said, “I am very thankful. The wheelchair I had was not in a good condition. I had been using the chair for over 10 years since I suffered a stroke in 2003 and could not afford a replacement.”

Mdyesha said it was important for BAIC SA to understand the challenges of communities living in close proximity to its plant in the Coega IDZ.

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