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The Driving Ambitions Rural project allows persons with mobility impairments who reside outside of Cape Town to participate in the Driving Ambitions project. Through funding generously provided by the Australian High Commission in South Africa, once accepted onto the driving ambitions project candidates are able to stay for 14 nights at Huis Andries Olivier and receive a contribution towards their transport budget whilst learning how to drive. Do you have your learner’s license or do you have a license which you must change to category B3 (Physically Disabled)? Contact Lowri today for more information on 021 975 6078 or by emailing email@example.com.
Bonga Rati- Our First Success Story
The Driving Ambitions Rural project now has its first success story! Bonga Rati, originally from the Eastern Cape, now lives in Langebaan and works for the Military in the Human Resources Department. On 19th June 2016, Bonga was involved in car accident which left him as a C6/C7 complete Quadriplegic. He completed his rehabilitation at the Military hospital, and returned to work after months of rehabilitation with limited function in his arms. Despite returning to work, Bonga relied on his family for transport and wished to be independent in transporting himself like he had prior to his accident. Bonga applied to the Driving Ambitions Rural programme, came to the Durbanville Quadriplegic Centre on Sunday 14th July and passed his test on Thursday 25th July. In Bonga’s own words “The reasons why I need a license … it will improve the quality of my personal life, and it could be beneficial for the Military also in attending courses, being on time for work in rain and windy conditions”. With his new found independence, Bonga’s goal is to “install hand controls in my car, further my studies, buy a house for my family and invest in business”. Do you want to be our next Driving Ambitions Rural success story? Contact Lowri at firstname.lastname@example.org today to apply!!
Introducing our Programme Assistant Nazeem Khan
QAWC now has a Program Assistant! Nazeem Khan, one of the Work Readiness Programme graduates from Intake 2 started with QAWC at the beginning of September and will be on an internship through the HW SETA for 12 months. Nazeem brings a wealth of experience about life as a wheelchair user, as he has been a paraplegic for 20 years. During his journey, he has faced many challenges but has worked tirelessly to overcome these. Nazeem obtained his driver’s license and owns his own vehicle, with the strength and mobility to transfer independently in and out of his vehicle. Additionally, Nazeem was a high-school dropout but completed his NQF Level 4 certificate in Business Administration in 2016 which is equivalent to Matric. This enabled him to participate in the Work Readiness Programme and apply for the role as Program Assistant. Nazeem’s open mindedness, excitement for new challenges and positive attitude have already helped him to excel in the office. We are very excited to have Nazeem on board the team; already he has added tremendous value with the recruitment of the Work Readiness Programme candidates, Buckle Up Rural and Driving Ambitions Rural projects and other smaller projects around the office. Welcome Nazeem!
Feedback from the OCC
Did you attend the George OCC? If so you may have seen our QAWC/QASA representative Lowri Williams. Lowri was at the race registration on Friday 13th September and cheering racers on the race day on Saturday 14th September. Our team showcased several QASA and QAWC programmes including QASA’s Work Readiness Programme, Driving Ambitions, Buckle Up Rural and Driving Ambitions Rural. 50 wheelchair users signed the register. Of these 37 were from the Western Cape, 3 from the Eastern Cape, 4 from Gauteng, 2 from the Free State, 1 from Mpumalanga and 1 from Kwazulu Natal. Three new members signed up in the Western Cape and 1 new members signed up to QASA from Mpumalanga. Connections were also made with other service providers including Physio SA. A Facebook competition was run, where individuals were required to take a photo with either the QASA Driving Ambitions car or Work Readiness Programme banner, upload it to Facebook and tag @QAWCZA or @QuadPara SA. The winners were decided by who had the most number of likes on their photo at 12pm on Race Day. The competition had 10 entries, and the winners were Jared McIntyre (140 likes), Brunhild Strauss (42 likes) and Olwethu Phike (69 likes). Winners received a QAWC USB, Cap and Tena wash cream. Congratulations to these winners! Thank you to all our Members who signed the register and participated in our Facebook competition! The OCC is always a great event and we hope to connect with our Members at many more in the future.
We gave our members the opportunity to work with a blank canvas. Design a mural that will welcome people to the QAWC office. Members could use visuals, words or a combination of the 2, the choice was theirs. The winning artwork(s) will still be decided by a panel, blown up and painted onto this wall, additionally the winner will also receive R500 payment as well as a goody bag!
Casual Day 2019
We are very proud to be able to report on a very successful 2019 Casual Day Campaign. The theme of this years campaign was “Time to Shine” and that is exactly what our members and staff did by putting a massive amount of effort into ensuring that we sold more stickers than previous years. In fact, thanks to the phenomenal contribution of our committed members and supporters, QAWC sold a grand total of 13 801 stickers which resulted in us being the best performing of all the QASA affiliated Regional Associations. On Casual Day, Anthony, our General Manager, spoke at an event hosted by the Department of Social Development where they celebrated Casual Day and also took the opportunity to formally start the campaign of collecting of breadtags as part of the “Breadtags for Wheelchairs” initiative. All in all this year’s Casual Day was a huge success and QAWC would like to take this opportunity to thank each and every person who contributed to the success, you truly did make it our Time to Shine.”
Work Readiness Programme
The QASA vision is that all Quadriplegics and Paraplegics will live their lives to their full potential and the Work Readiness Programme is the flagship programme in achieving this. For persons with disabilities, working is not just an investment in themselves but is a positive way to contribution to the South African economy. The Work Readiness Programme is currently in the 4th and final intake for the year! Over the course of the year, the programme has allowed 20 wheelchair users, and 1 associate member to move through a 2 month simulated workplace with the goal of securing employment. To date, the programme has a 90% success rate for graduated candidates who have found either permanent positions or internships. Would you like to be involved in this great programme? Email Nazeem today at email@example.com or by contacting the office.
WRP – Success Stories
The Work Readiness Programme has many success stories! Zara Talmarkes and Mbuleo Sibunzi are both employed by Mr D as Online Assistant Shoppers. Rashied Abrahams is completing an internship at Shonaquip as a Program and Impact Assistant. Nazeem Khan has started with QAWC as the Program Assistant. Anda Mthulu, our previous Digital Village trainer, has embarked full time on his journey of entrepreneurship with his business MSI Shoe Shine now more successful than ever. Louis Choonoo has started work at Edgars Cape Gate as a Specialist Recruitment Consultant. Danyal Salmon has started an internship with Edit Microsystems as General Product Support. Yongama Fuzane has started at Altron Byttes Solutions. Ricardo Lodewyk will be starting an internship in Awareness and Skills Promotion with Changeability on 1st November. Marco Pietrowski is studying to become a Personal Trainer through the QASA Education Fund. Xolile Tyhulu will be starting his internship with Tygerberg APD on the 1st November, and finally Sandise Mnukwa is starting an internship in Patient Administration at Mediclinic Panorama. We are certainly very excited about all these opportunities for our WRP candidates, and look forward to sharing many more with you!
Success Feature Story – Nokulunga Mdingi
One of our favourite success stories is that of Nokulunga (Lunga) Mdingi. Lunga is a beautiful, motivated and passionate lady who was trained as a nursing sister. On New Year’s Day in 2014, Lunga was involved in a terrible motor vehicle accident which left her with as a C4/C5 complete Quadriplegic. Due to her injury Lunga now utilises a chin controlled wheelchair and had been reluctant to pursue a career in health due to her disability, thinking rather that she must explore administrative opportunities. Through a connection with Cape Town Child Welfare, QAWC was made aware of was the need within Child Welfare to up-skill many of the social workers with the ability to read medical referrals and interpret complex medical jargon. Lunga was perfect for this role! Through a 12 month internship funded by QASA, Lunga has started work at Cape Town Child Welfare as the Health and Wellness Mentor where she now leads training staff around interpreting important medical document, delivers training to families at parent workshops and providing individualised medical support for families around medication, diet and more. There are plans to broaden her scope with children, families, health, disability and wellbeing. In Lunga’s own words “I am very pleased with the opportunity I got because it has allowed me a chance to practice again as a registered nurse which I never thought would be possible since I am a wheelchair user. This has been a lesson to me that anything is possible with the right approach”. The team at Child Welfare have commented that they feel extremely gratified to offer Lunga meaningful work, and that she can recognize her value already from such a short space of time in their workplace.
In August a small QAWC team headed up the West Coast in order to visit and speak to learners at schools in these rural areas. Our team of 3 wheelchair users who were accompanied by their assistants visited a total of 5 schools, with learners who were exposed to our team’s message hearing about the reality of life as a wheelchair user, some of the daily challenges faced as well as the correct way to speak to and interact with persons who are disabled. Each group who were exposed to our team’s stories listened with interest and engaged with the speakers by asking numerous in-depth questions. We thoroughly enjoyed the time we spent in Vredendal and the surrounding areas and look forward to more school visits early in 2020.
On 14 September the Annual General Meeting of the QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) took place. The AGM, which was held at the QASA office complex, was attended by representatives from the various Regional Associations affiliated to QASA, with Richard Barron and Anthony Ghillino representing QAWC. At the AGM the outgoing Board reflected on a successful year and reported on all the Association’s achievements, activities and challenges from the previous year. On a sad note, the AGM also gave members the opportunity to say farewell and thank you to be outgoing QASA CEO, Ari Seirlis, who has unfortunately had to end his long and successful association with QASA due to poor health. Under Ari’s leadership and guidance, QASA grew and developed into a significant role player in the disability sector and the legacy that he leaves behind within the organisation and disability sector as a whole is significant and will last for many years to come. After the AGM, the newly elected Board met and elected an Executive committee consisting of Norman Wright as Chairperson, Simon Manganye as Vice Chairperson, Richard Barron to the position of Treasurer and Pauline Mofokeng as an additional member of the Executive. With Raven Benny now filling the position of Chief Operations Officer it is a time of change and QASA but at QAWC we are confident that our national organisation is in good hands.