If you would like to download a Pdf of the above Newsletter, please click on the link below:
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QAWC, in partnership with QASA, circulated the opportunity for members to receive food vouchers to the value of R 500. These vouchers, which could be used at any Checkers or Shoprite store, were sent to members via SMS. We were able to provide 28 members with this much needed assistance and are grateful to QASA for the funds they made available to QAWC for this. QAWC has subsequently received funding which will enable us to provide more of these vouchers to more members across the province over the next few months, so if you are in need of groceries, please will you make contact with Esme and ensure that your name is on our waiting list using the firstname.lastname@example.org e-mail address. When you provide your details, please make sure that the cell phone number that you provide is correct as the voucher will be sent to that number. In addition to the food vouchers distributed by QAWC directly, we were also very pleased to forward an opportunity to get food vouchers that was made available by the Quadriplegic and Paraplegic Charitable Trust. We were pleased to see that a number of our members made use of this opportunity to secure vouchers and were able to purchase much-needed groceries and supplies. Please monitor your e-mails regularly for more similar opportunities.
QAWC Masks, Hand Sanitiser and PPE
It has now been confirmed that wearing face masks that cover your nose and mouth properly greatly reduces the risk of contracting the Covid-19 virus. It is one of the few tools that we have to protect ourselves and others from being infected. With this in mind, QAWC has had 300 material facemasks manufactured for distribution to QAWC members. 200 of these masks have been given to the WCRC to distribute to wheelchair users who access the facility who are in need of a mask. The remaining 100 masks will be distributed to QAWC members, so, if you are in need of a material mask please make contact with the office and we will provide you with one while we have stock. The masks, which were made by a paraplegic member of QAWC, all have 3 layers as recommended by the Department of Health and also comes with a list of instructions which tell you how to correctly wear as well as look after material masks. We hope that these masks will assist to keep our members safe and healthy. Practising good hygiene is essential to help combat Covid-19 and we are pleased to be able to offer hand sanitiser to members in order to ensure that your hands and those of our carers are sanitised regularly. We also have access to PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) which members can use for themselves and provide to the carers who offer much-needed assistance to us. Please contact the office to submit your request for assistance with these items.
We have been contacted by members who have expressed that they are currently not being provided with sufficient medical supplies from their day hospital/clinic. We realise that this has a severe impact on the lives of our members and with this in mind, we have secured a limited amount of funding which will enable us to purchase supplies in bulk which will then be distributed to members in need. Should you require specific medical supplies please be sure to make contact with the QAWC office on email@example.com to see which of the supplies that we have you will be able to make use of. QAWC was very pleased to be able to supply Turfhall Cheshire Homes with an order of linen savers as they had expressed that they were experiencing a shortage of these vital supplies. The linen savers were delivered to Turfhall Cheshire Homes and will hopefully assist to ease the shortage they were experiencing. We are excited to be able to offer these supplies to members across the province, so even if you live outside of the Cape Town area we will be able to get some supplies through to you. As always, funding for this is limited so please make contact with the QAWC office as soon as possible to improve your chances of receiving assistance.
QASA’s Work Readiness Program
In the year since being launched, the Work Readiness Program has proved to be extremely successful in changing the lives of quadriplegics and paraplegics. The arrival of Covid-19 in South Africa meant that the programme had to be suspended towards the end of March and with the lockdown in force and the need to maintain social distancing to continue for the foreseeable future, there was uncertainty as to whether the program would be able to continue. We are excited to announce that the team at QASA has been extremely busy finding a solution and that the Work Readiness Program will indeed be going ahead on an online platform! This is awesome news and everyone at QAWC is excited by the possibilities that moving the course online brings. Moving the program online means that participants don’t have to worry about sourcing reliable transport to commute to the training centre every day and also means that any person in any town or city across the country is able to participate. The Work Readiness Program will continue to strive to “Bridge the Gap to Employment” for our members and we strongly encourage any of you our members who meet the criteria to consider enrolling for this program. If you are interested in attending, please send an e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org or call QASA on 031 767 0348 to express your interest.
In line with the government regulations and recommendations, the QAWC team is working from home as much as possible in order to minimise the risk of being exposed to Covid-19. This means that the office is only staffed for a limited amount of hours per week so please do not visit the office without 1st making sure that one of the team members will be there. Any visitors to the office will be expected to wear a mask and adhere strictly to the various protocols that are in place to restrict the spread of the Covid-19 virus. While we are not on site, e-mails continue to be monitored on an ongoing basis and we can be contacted on the office cellphone. The office landline is checked for messages every other day, so if you leave a message a team member will be in touch with you within a minimum of 48 hours.
QAWC AGM, Board & Election
At QAWC July is AGM month, with our organisation’s AGM traditionally been held on the last Saturday of July for a number of years. The QAWC Board has decided that this year will be no different, except that because of the restrictions on gatherings, the meeting will be an online meeting on 25 July 2020 rather than face-to-face as in years gone by. The QAWC office will send you a link via e-mail which you can click on in order to join in and follow proceedings of the AGM. This can be done on your smart phone, laptop, tablet or PC. While we are going to miss seeing our members and catching up with everyone, we are excited that moving to this online platform will enable members from far afield to be a part of the AGM. This year is an election year and as such we would encourage you to nominate a person/people who you would like to see represent you on the QAWC Board. Board meetings are held once a Month and there is no need to travel to the monthly meeting as they too are held online. QAWC is grateful to the individuals who have volunteered to serve on the Board for the last 2 years and hopes to welcome many of them back for another term. We are also keen to see some new members elected to the Board where they can make their mark on the organisation and the direction that we move in. Nomination forms have been circulated to all members via e-mail and must reach the office by no later than 11 July 2020. If you would like to serve on the Board or nominate someone to serve on the Board be sure to make contact with the QAWC office.
With social distancing an absolute must at the moment, a number of programs which include some of our members favourite programmes such as Buckle Up, Driving Ambitions, Our Awareness Program, Disability Sensitisation Training Workshops etc are currently on hold and will return when it is safe to do so. However, we are pleased to report that members can still access and benefit from programs and projects such as our SABAT Wheelchair Battery Project, Education Fund, Assistive Device Fund and the Sports Fund. Of course, as indicated in the newsletter above, we’re also going to be in a position to distribute food vouchers and medical supplies to members so even though we are having to do things differently, QAWC continues to service you, our members.
If you would like to download a Pdf of the above Newsletter, please click on the link below:
Click on the images to enlarge
The QASA Work Readiness Program in Cape Town
QASA’s flagship program, the Work Readiness Program which aims to bridge the gap to employment for persons with disabilities has continued to impact positively on the lives of all candidates who join the program. At the beginning of February we welcomed 5 new candidates to the Training Centre at the QAWC office in Durbanville. The candidates arrived with mixed emotions, mainly a combination of excitement and nervousness. This group was the 5th intake in total since this program was launched on 1 April 2019, with the program going from strength to strength in this time. The candidates expressed how much they enjoyed the varied nature of the modules, with those that deal with stress management, working in a team and time management proving to be very popular. Unfortunately while candidates were completing their 1 week of workplace experience, the Corona Virus pandemic arrived in South Africa. In the interests of keeping all candidates safe and healthy, the difficult decision was made by QASA to suspend the WRP until at least the end of April. With just 2 weeks of classes left, the candidates who made up Intake One of 2020 remain determined to graduate as soon as it is safe to do so and we look forward to celebrating their awesome achievement with them! Interviews for Intake 2 have already taken place, with successful candidates notified. However, because of the uncertainty in our country and world at the moment we are not quite sure exactly when this group will be able to start their journey. If you are interested in attending the Work Readiness Program please send an e-mail to email@example.com where Nazeem will be able to provide you with all the information you require. Be sure to make contact with Nazeem so that you’re ready to be part of the program once the Corona Virus crisis has passed.
Driving Ambitions / Driving Ambitions Rural
The Driving Ambitions and Driving Ambitions Rural project makes driving a reality for individuals with mobility impairments. With the Driving Ambitions Rural project QAWC have the opportunity to bring individuals from around the Western Cape to complete their driving lessons and to undertake their driving test.
A few weeks ago, two of our participants Brent Petersen (Driving Ambitions Rural) and Danyal Salmon (Driving Ambitions) were successful in obtaining their driver’s license. Two humble yet determined individuals from different parts of the country with the common desire to acquire their drivers’ licence. On the 6th and 7th of March they did just that. Both Brent and Danyal could not describe how overwhelmed they were by achieving this milestone in their lives. QAWC and QASA applaud Brent and Danyal on their achievements and wish them the best with future endeavours. Driving Ambitions is the centre of excellence in driver training for persons with mobility impairments to be mobile and independent, which in turn allows employment opportunities, social freedom and offers life changing accreditation.
CRICKET AT NEWLANDS CRICKET GROUND
In January and February of this year, South Africans were treated to a bumper cricket season with visits to the country by England and Australia. The beautiful Newlands Cricket Ground in Cape Town was once again host to 3 international matches, the New Year’s test match and a One-Day International against England and T20 match against Australia. Tickets for all 3 matches were in great demand, with tickets sold out days in advance. We were fortunate to once again receive a full complement of tickets which were available to QAWC members at no cost. The demand for tickets was at an all-time high and those who were fortunate enough to receive tickets through our lucky draw were excited to be able to attend. While not all of the results went South Africa’s way, a good time was had by everyone who attended, with the experience of attending world-class cricket at Newlands a memory that will stay with our members for years to come. We are very grateful to the Western Province Cricket Association (WPCA) who very generously made the suite available to us for the use of our members. There was a huge demand for suites and tickets to the New Year’s test match against England in particular and it is heartening to know that the WPCA put supporting wheelchair users in Cape Town before profit. Thank you WPCA.
The Annual OCC Wheelchair Race in George
This year the annual OCC in George returned to its familiar spot on the calendar, taking place on 15 February. Wheelchair users from all around the country and the continent made their way to George to participate in the event which continues to grow in popularity. With various race categories, ranging from the 42.2 km marathon and the 21.1 km half marathon for the endurance athletes, to the shorter 10 km race and the 5 km fun event there was something for everyone to enjoy and participate in. QAWC partnered with QASA to have an information stand at the race registration on Friday 14 February as well as at the race village on Saturday 15 February. The small team made use of the opportunity to connect with existing members and old friends while informing them of the latest programs, projects and happenings in the organisation. We were able to meet with a number of new members who were introduced to our organisation. This year, thanks to the QASA Sports Fund, QAWC were able to assist a total of 4 groups comprising of 40 QAWC members to participate in the event. From the
smiles on their faces it was evident that a good time was had by all! QASA and QAWC also held a Facebook competition at the event, with the person/people in the photograph on our Facebook page that received the most likes winning a bag full of goodies. The competition winner was Fizel De Vries, a regular visitor to the OCC over the years. Planning has already started for next year’s OCC which will again be taking place in February, so start to get your group together so that you too can enjoy the fun in 2021!
Some information to stay safe and healthy. The most important thing you can do is wash your hands frequently, for at least 20 seconds each time. Wash them regularly, before you eat and other times that you are touching surfaces. You can also use a hand sanitiser that contains at least 60% alcohol. Don’t touch your eyes, nose or mouth, viruses can enter your body that way. Wipe down objects and surfaces frequently with household cleaner, which will kill the virus.
Wash your hands frequently
Regularly and thoroughly clean your hands with an alcohol-based hand rub or wash them with soap and water.
Washing your hands with soap and water or using alcohol-based hand rub kills viruses that maybe on your hands.
Maintain social distancing
Maintain at least 1.5 metre distance between yourself and anyone especially if they are coughing or sneezing.
When someone coughs or sneezes, they spray small liquid droplets from their nose or mouth which may contain virus. If you are too close, you can breathe in the droplets, including the COVID-19 virus if the person coughing or sneezing has the disease.
Touching your face
Avoid touching eyes, nose and mouth
Hands touch many surfaces and can pick up viruses. Once contaminated, hands can transfer the virus to your eyes, nose or mouth. From there, the virus can enter your body and can make you sick.
Practice respiratory hygiene
Make sure you, and the people around you, follow good respiratory hygiene. This means covering your mouth and nose with your bent elbow or tissue when you cough or sneeze. Dispose of the used tissue immediately.
Droplets spread the virus. By following good respiratory hygiene, you protect the people around you from viruses such as cold, flu and COVID-19.
If you have a fever, cough and difficulty breathing, seek medical attention. National and local authorities will have the most up to date information on the situation in your area.
DO’S AND DON’TS
- Stay at home
- Cover your nose and mouth with disposable tissue when coughing or sneezing
- Frequently wash your hands with soap and water
- Avoid crowded places
- Keep at least 1.5 metre distance from people
- Get adequate sleep and rest
- Drink plenty of water/liquids and eat nutritious food
- Cough or sneeze without covering your mouth and nose
- Don’t go to crowed areas
- Touch your eyes, nose or mouth with unwashed hands
- Hug, kiss and shake hands while greeting
- Spitting in public places
- Dispose of used tissues or napkins in open areas
- Touch surfaces usually used by public
You don’t have to worry about catching COVID-19 from your pets – the coronavirus has infected hundreds of thousands of humans around the world but not a single dog or cat has been harmed by it and won’t be. National and international health organisations continue to assure pet owners that dogs and cats CANNOT contract or transmit COVID-19. You can interact with your pet as normal, including playing and feeding. You should continue to practice good hygiene during these interactions (eg. wash hands before and after interacting with your pet. Ensure that your pet is kept well-groomed, regularly clean your pet’s food and water bowls, bedding and toys.
BE SAFE, BE SMART AND BE KIND TO ONE ANOTHER. TOGETHER WE CAN BEAT THIS!!!