Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) today, 25 March 2010, announced its plan donate 2010 (two thousand and ten) wheelchairs during the financial year starting 1 April 2010 as part of its nationwide wheelchair donation programme. The main objective is to provide assistive devices to people living with disabilities. The programme targets mainly children but does extend to include all people living with disabilities where there is a great need. Since 2004, ACSA has contributed more than 3000 wheelchairs across the country.
“We are in the business of facilitating movement of people and by donating wheelchairs to the needy and other assistive devices we enable mobility for people living with physical disabilities so that they, too, can become mobile and lead meaningful lives. Each wheelchair is done in a way that meets the new owner’s specific requirements depending on their disability,” says Solomon Makgale, ACSA’s Group Manager: Communications.
Through our partnership with Mobility Aids, provincial and national government departments, non-governmental organisations and various other service providers, we have developed a network of therapists who assist us with assessing individual recipients to ensure that their individual circumstances and needs are considered before prescribing a device or wheelchair. ACSA has established it as a principle not give to out “one size fits all” wheelchairs. This understanding has enabled us to contextualise our response to the challenge and make it relevant. To that effect, each device is designed to suit each owner’s personal, physical and environmental requirements.
For example, in the Free State, ACSA has pledged to donate 400 wheelchairs between September 2009 and June this year. This commitment was made as part of our contribution to the “Friends of the Poor” campaign led by the Premier in the Province, Ace Magashule, and in partnership with the Provincial Department of Social Development. Last week, 156 wheelchairs were donated, bringing the number of wheelchairs delivered so far to 290.
ACSA’s wheelchair donation programme has reached over 3 500 people with disabilities, mostly children in over 40 schools countrywide, who now have a wheelchair and other assistive devices they can call their own.
“ACSA is also grateful to partnerships already established with national and provincial government departments, NGO’s, municipalities, hospitals and clinics in many cities. It is these institutions that have enabled us deliver,” Makgale concluded.