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News Archive 2016

QAWC logo for October & December highlights.

If you would like to download a Pdf of the above Newsletter, please click on the link below:

QAWC Newsletter October - December 2016
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Assessing the Go George Transport Systempublic transport

The lack of universally accessible transport continues to be a major factor that affects wheelchair users across the province. Because of this, QAWC has been watching the rollout of the Go George transport system with interest. A team consisting of representatives from the South African Local Government Association (SALGA), the Provincial DSD and QAWC travelled to George to assess the impact that the system is having on people with disabilities in the community. We also grabbed the opportunity to try the Go George for our ourselves! While there is still a lot of work to be done on the infrastructure and in particular the pavements, the QAWC project manager was able to board the various buses that are utilised in the system and spent a morning travelling on various routes and changing buses.

public transport 2The team then facilitated a feedback session which saw people with disabilities who utilise the system share their experiences and the impact that being able to use accessible public transport has had. It quickly became apparent that the Go George has improved the quality of lives of people with disabilities who utilise it significantly, allowing them to access employment opportunities, develop skills, participate in community events/outings, socialise, access healthcare and government departments and more, all at an extremely affordable price. The system is already an asset to residents of George and while work on the infrastructure continues, when complete people with disabilities will be able to travel around their city safely and reliably regardless of their level of mobility.

International Day for People with Disabilitiesinternational day for people with disabilities

With 3 December falling on a Saturday this year there was some controversy and debate about when to celebrate International Day for People with Disabilities (IDPD). Ultimately, QAWC adopted the position that 3 December is IDPD and should be celebrated on the day. This led to QAWC declining an invitation from the City of Cape Town to join the celebration on 2 December. Instead, QAWC participated in an event hosted by The Western Cape Network on Disability on 3 December at the Cape Town Station. While it was a low-key event, those who attended thoroughly enjoyed themselves and in particular the opportunity to interact with the public utilising the station and to raise awareness about disability and more importantly about the ability that people with disabilities have.

Raising Awareness in the Garden Route

raising awarenessOctober saw the QAWC awareness team visit Plettenberg Bay, Knysna, George and Mossel Bay where the team presented at a total of 14 schools over 5 days as part of our awareness raising campaign funded by the Department of Social Development. The team presented the programme in English, IsiXhosa and Afrikaans and the reaction to the programme at all the schools that we visited was positive. Learners at the schools were reminded about the dangers of abusing alcohol and drugs as well as makingRaising Awareness negative lifestyle choices and gangsterism. The learners were also told about and shown the talent that people with disabilities have and taught the correct way to speak and interact with wheelchair users. With this trip the awareness campaign for 2016/17 came to an end and we are looking forward to resuming the programme in April 2017.

rural outreachRural Outreach in George

While in George, the QAWC team met with wheelchair users who live in the area in order to introduce them to QAWC and inform them of the services, programs and projects that QAWC run. The George APD branch offered us tremendous assistance and support, helping with the logistical arrangements on the day, enabling QAWC to make contact with a significant amount of wheelchair users. We are really pleased to be in touch with more wheelchair users in George and look forward to developing a relationship with these new members and providing services and programs to them that will improve their quality of life.

2016 Bidvest Western Cape Golf DayBidvest golf day

For the 3rd year in a row QAWC was selected to be the beneficiary of the annual Bidvest Western Cape Golf Day held at the beautiful De Zalze golf course in Stellenbosch. The QAWC chairperson and project manager attended the evening function and were very excited and grateful to receive a cheque of R 25,000 from the organisers at the prize-giving ceremony. This golf day has become an event that QAWC looks forward to attending every year and we are very proud of the relationship which has developed between ourselves and Bidvest. We look forward to this relationship growing and strengthening in 2017.

QASA Board DevelopmentQASA board development

In November the two QAWC representatives to the QASA Board (Richard Barron & Anthony Ghillino) attended training for the QASA Board in Johannesburg. The training focused on 3 areas/subjects, namely, the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, Risk Management and Financial Management. The training received was excellent and very important to ensure that good governance in both QASA and QAWC takes place. The knowledge gained at this training will enable our representatives to ensure that our organisation is run in an effective and efficient manner and have a positive impact on the lives of our members while upholding and ensuring their rights.assistive devices

assistive devicesAssistive Devices

QAWC was able to provide two members in need of new wheelchairs with these vital assistive devices during this quarter. Nonkose Soga and Mthetheleli Njila were the two members who received wheelchairs during this period thanks to funds received from GrandWest CSI. We wish Nonkose and Mthetheleli many years of safe comfort in their new wheelchairs.

QAWC Office Closureoffice closure

The QAWC office will close on 21 December 2016 and reopen on 9 January 2017. The QAWC management would like to wish all members, their loved ones and carers everything of the best over the festive season and hope that you all have a happy and healthy 2017.

QAWC logo for July & September highlights

If you would like to download a Pdf of the above Newsletter, please click on the link below:

QAWC Newsletter July - September 2016
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Caual Day 2016casual day

On 2nd September QAWC management, members and staff joined the rest of the country in celebrating and participating in the annual Casual Day campaign. QAWC sent a small team to the University of the Western Cape where we joined campus staff who had got into the spirit of the day and dressed up according to the theme of "Up Your Game for Persons with Disabilities." 

In the days leading up to the campaign QAWC members and staff enthusiastically set about selling as many stickers for Casual Day as possible. The QAWC campaign was extremely successful, with our region selling the grand total of 16,419 stickers, an improvement of over 5000 stickers from the 2015 campaign!

A sincere “THANK YOU” to all our members who got involved to ensure that this year’s campaign was a record-breaking one.

QAWC and GrandWest Keeping Members Mobilekeeping members mobile

With funds we received from GrandWest QAWC was able to provide wheelchairs and other assistive devices to members again during the last quarter. One of the members who benefited from this campaign is Bulelwa Madlongwana who received a wheelchair from QAWC.

If you require a wheelchair, cushion or a different Assistive device and you have been unsuccessful in your application to your local day hospital, state facility or medical aid, please contact the office to find out how to go about applying for an assistive device.

Raising Awareness with the Department of Social Developmentraising awareness

In August the QAWC team visited schools to raise awareness about disability in areas where there is a very high occurrence of spinal-cord injuries. Our team visited Vredendal, Vanrynsdorp, Klawer, Ludtzville, Ebenezer and Nuwerus where the team of experienced public speakers shared their stories with the learners.  The learners were educated about the dangers of substance abuse, gangsterism and making negative lifestyle choices, while the team members also highlighted the ability that they have as well as some of their achievements since becoming a wheelchair user.  Although very demanding and exhausting for the team, the programme was a massive success with the team already having being asked to return in 2017.

Unpacking the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilitieswhite paper

The signing of the White Paper on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (WPRPD) in December last year was a significant event for people with disabilities  in South Africa. In an attempt to develop an understanding of exactly what the WPRPD means to NPO’s and South Africans with disabilities, the Western Cape Disability Desk hosted a workshop where the WPRPD was unpacked. The workshop was attended by members of provincial government, local government and NPO’s with a lot of serious and healthy debate anddiscussion taking place. There is a tangible excitement about the impact that the implementation of the legislation contained in the WPRPD will have on the lives of people with disabilities in South Africa, QAWC looks forward to assisting members to benefit from this legislation.

World Spinal-Cord Injury Day world spinal cord day

World Spinal-Cord Injury Day takes place on 5 September every year and for the 1st time ever QASA and its affiliated regions including QAWC joined in the celebrations. This year’s theme was focused on Prevention, which is an area that QAWC places much emphasis on. QAWC deployed a team of 6 wheelchair users to the V&A Waterfront with the task of engaging with the public to raise awareness about road safety issues. In all, the QAWC team spoke to approximately 250 people about road safety, with each person being handed a branded license disc with the slogan “Buckle Up, We Don’t Want New Members.” QAWC looks forward to this event is growing from year to year and becoming a highlight on our calendar.


The AGM of QAWC took place in Durbanville on Saturday, 23 July 2016 at the Andries Olivier Durbanville Quadriplegic Centre. The AGM, which was attended by approximately 30 members, heard reports from the outgoing chairperson, treasurer as well as the project manager.  A delegation from QASA consisting of the CEO, the GM and an Exco member were present with Ari Seirlis, the QASA CEO also addressing the meeting. The office bearers of the QAWC committee who will serve a two-year term are as follows:  Chairperson-Glenn Millen, Vice Chairperson-Richard Barron and Treasurer-Daniel Retief.QAWC & QASA agm

On 17 September 2016 the AGM of QASA took place at the Royal Cape Yacht Club in Cape Town. QASA Manco members travelled from all over the country to attend and provide feedback on their region’s activities over the last 12 months. At the 1st meeting of the new Manco which took place after the AGM Vusi Ndimeni was elected as chairperson of the organisation, with Raven Benny elected as vice chairperson, Cedric Hedgecock as treasurer and Norman Wright as an additional member to the executive committee. In the evening selected guests attended a relaxing evening of jazz at the Marimba Restaurant where those present took the opportunity to network and look back on a very successful year.

Opportunities to take note of:

  • QAWC has received funding from British Airways through QASA to continue with our rural outreach project. If you require a ramp or pathway to be built to enable you to access your home please contact Esmé at the QAWC office as soon as possible.
  • Do you or a wheelchair user you know require computer literacy training? If so, please make contact with Anda at the QAWC office.
  • Are you looking for a job? If you are, please ensure that you forward your CV to the QAWC office so that it can be placed on the database of members looking for employment.
  • Would you like to achieve financial independence? Are you an outgoing person? Are you driven and determined? If you are, you may be the perfect person to get involved in a project which will see wheelchair users enter the short-term insurance world. An opportunity exists for members to sell short-term insurance and generate an income for themselves. If you are interested please email Anthony, on pm@qawc.org
  • Calling all cricket fans. QAWC will be receiving a very limited amount of tickets for the suite at PPC Newlands for the ODI between South Africa & Australia. Members must phone into the office to register their interest with a lucky draw for the tickets being held on Friday 7 October.


If you would like to download a Pdf of the above Newsletter, please click on the link below:

QAWC Newsletter April - June 2016
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Rural Outreachrural outreach

Thanks to a partnership with QASA and Comair, QAWC had the opportunity to improve access to the homes of members. Members who had difficulty getting in and out of their homes were asked to contact QAWC. Our team went to these    member's homes, assessed what was needed to make the entrance to their home accessible and then set about doing the required work. Having to work within a budget, QAWC initially planned to assist 10 members but by carefully managing expenditure we were able to create ramps and pathways to gain access to their own homes for a total of 16 members. Our sincere thanks to Comair for funding this project and to QASA for the opportunity to deliver the service to our members.

Learning to drivelearning to drive

Using our Toyota Yaris that is fitted with hand controls, QAWC member, Jawaad Coetzee, gained independence by passing his driver's license test, a paraplegic, enlisted the services of Theuns from Make It Believe (MIB) Driving School to teach him to drive using the QAWC vehicle and all his hard work and efforts paid off when he passed his driver's test. The QAWC Toyota Yaris is available to members to learn to drive on, contact Esmé in the office for more information.

QAWC Raffle Winner

QAWC Raffle Winner

Our sincere thanks to all who contributed to the success of the QAWC raffle. The draw took place on 3 May 2016 and the winner of the first prize of two return tickets to any destination in the country was Fezile Ngcanga. Second and third prizes which were gift    bags courtesy of Canal Walk where won by Dankie Mpwahlela and Pieter Meissenheimer respectively. Congratulations to the prize winners, thanks again for your support, enjoy your prizes.

Matzikama Municipality Access Issues

A QAWC member living in the Vredendal area contacted QAWC about thelack of access to most municipal buildings in the Matzikama Municipal area. After visiting various buildings in towns such as Vredendal, Klawer, axcesibility1axcesibility2Vanrhynsdorp, Lutzville and Doringsbaai QAWC addressed the full Matzikama Municipal Council pointing out access issues and highlighting the need for all municipal buildings to be universally accessible. The presentation proved to be a success with the council subsequently resolving to do an access audit of all municipal buildings, allocate funds in the next budget for these changes, have all municipal employees attend disability sensitisation training and have councillors and other officials spend a morning in a wheelchair trying to negotiate the streets of the town. QAWC is pleased that the Matzikama Municipality have agreed to take these steps and that wheelchair users will have access to public buildings in the future.

Run like a SuperheroRun like a Superhero

With the Wings for Life World Run, a worldwide event that raises funds for research into spinal cord injuries, moving to Centurion this year, QAWC was approached by a NPO called Dangerous Diaries

who wanted to raise awareness for the cause. They decided to hold a 5 km fun run along the Sea Point promenade, with the fun run starting at the same time as the worldwide event. There was a twist in that all participants were encouraged to come along dressed as their favourite superheroes. QAWC joined in the fun by accompanying the superheroes on their run. The sight of wheelchair users and superheroes running along the promenade was quite something and succeeded in raising awareness.

Life Rehabilitation Spinal Cord Injury Support Group

Meetings of the support group take place at the Life Rehabilitation Unit at Vincent Pallotti on the first Thursday of every month. A wide range of topics were discussed in the group over the last few months including Sexuality after A Spinal Cord Injury, Managing Pain through Self Hypnosis and Assistive Technology. The group is attended by a


mixture of newly injured individuals as well as some "veteran" wheelchair users and gives the opportunity for information to be shared, issues to be discussed and debated and for wheelchair users to learn from each other's experiences. The support group meeting starts at 10 AM, an invitation containing the topic of the month is sent out to all members a week or two in advance. We look forward to seeing you at the next meeting.

Up Your Game - Casual Day 2016

up_your_gameNow in its 22nd year Casual Day has become an important awareness and fundraising event for the disability sector. QAWC has placed its order for stickers which sell to the public for R10 each and we are aiming to record our best ticket sales ever in 2016. This year the theme calls for members of the public to "Up Your Game for Persons with Disabilities" and we look forward to a fun and successful campaign. The funds that QAWC receive through this campaign enable us to continue to offer meaningful services and projects to our members and as such we encourage you our members to support QAWC by selling stickers and supporting this well-known event. An e-mail to members with more info about the campaign will be sent out in due course, we look forward to your involvement.

Upcoming Annual General Meetings

The annual general meeting of QAWC will be taking place at the Andries Olivier Durbanville Quadriplegic Centre onmeeting the 23rd July. At the meeting QAWC will report back on its activities of the last 12 months and will also see the election of the management committee for 2016-2018 take place. Notification of the meeting and nomination forms have been sent out to all members. For catering purposes please let the office know if you will be attending.

The QASA AGM will be held in Cape Town this year on 17 September. QASA members from all over the country will be coming to Cape Town to attend the AGM and to hear about QASA's activities during 2015/16. All QAWC members are welcome to attend and will receive official notification in due course.



If you would like to download a Pdf of the above Newsletter, please click on the link below:2016_newsletter_jan_march_pic2

QAWC Newsletter January - March 2016
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OCC wheelchair challenge

The ever popular OCC Wheelchair Challenge took place in George on 20 February 2016, with QAWC receiving requests for financial assistance from groups of members eager to participate in the wheelchair challenge.  Thanks to the QASA sports fund, a total of 52 QAWC members received assistance to participate in the event. From the reports received by QAWC the event was a success and thoroughly enjoyed by all QAWC members who attended.

QAWC Raffle Underway

2016_newsletter_jan_march_pic3The QAWC raffle was launched on 8 March and presents an opportunity for QAWC 2016_newsletter_jan_march_pic1members to support their organisation while generating additional funds for themselves.  The winner of the raffle will receive a return ticket for two people to anywhere in South Africa that Kulula or British Airways fly to. Raffle tickets sell for just R10 and members are entitled to keep R4 from each ticket that they sell. The closing date for sales is 29 April with the draw taking place on 3 May.  Tickets are available from the QAWC office, please contact the office to take this opportunity to earn some extra money for yourself while supporting your organisation.

Asistive Devices


QAWC is able to assist members by providing them with assistive devices thanks to the QAWC/GrandWest asistive device fund.  One of the members who we assisted in this way this quarter was Ricardo Lodewyk (pictured to the right) who applied to QAWC for a specialised cushion for his wheelchair.  If you are in need of an asistive device that your day hospital or medical aid are unable to provide please contact the QAWC office to find out how to apply.


Road Safety Filmed for United Nations Television

On 6 March two QAWC members who regularly participate in our road safety campaign were joined by the QASA CEO, Ari Seirlis, and a film crew from United Nations Television as they went about encouraging motorists to "Buckle Up."  The acclaimed road safety campaign with the slogan "Buckle Up - We Don't Want to New Members" will feature in a production that focuses on successful road safety campaigns. The QAWC team enjoyed the experience of being in front of the cameras and everyone at QAWC looks forward to viewing the documentary once it is aired.

Casual Day Awards

The annual Casual Day Show and Tell Breakfast was held at the Table Bay Hotel to honour and recognise the top 2016_newsletter_jan_march_pic6performers in the 2015 campaign. QAWC, who were the best performing of the QASA regions in 2015, were present at the event and delighted to have the contribution of a number of our supporters recognised.  Cheryl Murray (pictured below right)as one of the QAWC members whose significant contribution to the campaign was acknowledged.

Our thanks and congratulations to all our members and partners who contributed to the success of the campaign. The theme for 2016's campaign was announced and this year members of the public will be encouraged to "UP YOUR GAME” for People with Disabilities." Details on how you can get involved and support this initiative will follow. Watch this space!

Raising Awareness at Schools

As part of the ongoing QAWC awareness campaign, the QAWC team of four wheelchair users visited schools in Velddrift and Hopefield where they engaged with learners, speaking to them about the dangers of drug and alcohol abuse, distracted driving and encouraging them to make positive lifestyle choices.  Our team was warmly received at all three schools that were visited and fielded a number of questions from learners who were keen to learn more 2016_newsletter_jan_march_pic7about the reality of living with a disability on a daily basis. The accessibility of the schools that we visited was also examined by learners who were made to negotiate their way around the school using a wheelchair. There were many challenges and those who participated experienced first-hand the frustrations of an environment that is not accessible.

Farewell to Lize

QAWC will be saying goodbye to Lizé Pitt, the coordinator of our Digital Village, at the end of March. Lize fulfilled the position of administrative assistant when the Digital Village opened in September 2011 and went on to become the Digital Village coordinator. Lize has played a major role in the success of the Digital Village and had a positive impact on the lives of a number of people with disabilities. Those who have attended the Digital Village over the years will tell you about Lize's patience, warm smile and friendly mannerisms. Everyone at QAWC wishes Lize well with all her future endeavours. Anda Mthulu has worked closely with Lize over the last two years and will be taking over her duties from 4 April. If you or any wheelchair user that you know would like to attend computer classes at the Digital Village please contact the office and make arrangements with Anda.