Prevention & Awareness
QAWC is constantly raising awareness about people with disabilities and trying to prevent the injuries from occurring. A prevention and awareness campaign in partnership with the Dept of Social Development. Our team of wheelchair users have visited every single Dept of Social Development Office in the Western Cape and has seen us travel to towns across the Western Cape including Vredendal, Beaufort West, Oudtshoorn and George.
As part of the campaign we have spoken at numerous schools. During these presentations our team highlights the cause of spinal-cord injuries and also discusses the reality of living with a disability with the learners. At each school a learner is selected to negotiate his/her way to the school office in a wheelchair. This exercise has proved to be an invaluable tool to illustrate the problems of accessibility which are faced by wheelchair users on a day-to-day basis.
Buckle Up Rural
Motor vehicle fatalities are the tenth largest killer in South Africa, and vehicle occupant deaths account for nearly half of the road deaths in the Western Cape. In 2016 there were a reported 11 676 motor vehicle accidents with a large 14 071 fatalities. Countless injuries and fatalities occur due to the lack of occupant restraint in crashes around the Western Cape, and result in an increase in spinal cord injuries.
For several years QAWC Members have participated in the “Buckle Up! We Don’t Want New Members” which has been facilitated by QASA. Members are deployed at the Engen Winelands Garage on the N1 Highway, asking the general public to pledge to drive safely and wear their seatbelt. In exchange for their pledge, the general public are given a license disc with the campaign’s slogan.
Recently there has been demand for the project to be run in rural areas, along major roads where many of these accidents occur. QAWC now have Buckle Up teams in Outdshoorn, Vredendal, Hermanus, Worcester, Ceres, and George who will be raising awareness of the importance of wearing seatbelts, and collecting pledges from motorists and their passengers.
Buckle Up Rural has been made possible with generous funding received from the Australian High Commission in South Africa.
QAWC have also deployed a team of four members at the Harmony Park Resort in Strand. Each member of this team living in Strand and became quadriplegics when they severely injured their necks diving into the tidal pools at this resort. In years gone by there has been an extremely high level of spinal-cord injuries suffered by visitors to the Harmony Park Resort.
On selected days during the December and January period our team sit at the Harmony Park Resort and make the public aware of the dangers of diving. Our team members talk to visitors to the resort and share their own personal experiences. Pamphlets are distributed urging people not to dive and highlighting just how dangerous diving actually is. Our team members monitor the pools and approach any individuals that they see diving into the water.
QAWC is very proud of the fact that no catastrophic spinal injuries have ever occurred while our team has been on duty.