The transport woes of 21 special needs children in the care of Worcester’s Breede Valley Association for Persons with Disabilities are a thing of the past, following the donation of a 23-seater bus.
The vehicle donation was made by the South African Muslim Charitable Trust (SAMCT) when it became clear that the Association’s 14-year-old, ill-equipped mini-bus was unable to cope with its safe and efficient transport needs.
Officiating at the recent hand-over of the special new vehicle, SAMCT representative, Faried Boltman, said: “The Association has on hand incredibly dedicated staff, passionate about their vocation and committed to the children in their care. They have great expertise and the necessary programmes to assist in the children’s development.
“A crucial aspect of the Association’s service to the community is the daily collection and return of the special needs children who attend the Association’s Rise and Shine Special Care Centre and this was becoming increasingly compromised.”
The Breede Valley Association for Persons with Disabilities was established in 1951 and does extraordinary work in the Worcester area, ensuring that those it serves, whether with physical or intellectual disabilities, benefit from carefully planned stimulation programmes.
Boltman said the Association’s goal is to ensure that the special children in its care are able to enjoy a meaningful life, learn self-reliance and become active participants in the community.
“We believe that the Association and its dedicated centre does tremendous work with its stimulation programmes for the special needs children in its care and this is really where its focus needs to be, without the heavy burden of worrying about transport issues.
“We also recognised, however, that without its provision of transport, some of those in its care simply would not be able to reach the Centre and it would be an absolute tragedy if the deserving youngsters served here were to be denied access simply because of a vehicle,” said Boltman.
The Association has for years had to make do with its older mini-bus to transport their charges. However, the small size of the vehicle meant the driver having to make two trips each day to both collect and deliver the children, regarded as inefficient from both a cost and time perspective.
In addition, the old vehicle was not equipped to deal with wheelchairs and buggies, placing additional physical strain on the caregivers looking after the youngsters needs during the home and the Centre transfers.
It is a sad reality that non-profit organisations, such as Breede Valley Association for Persons with Disabilities and its Rise and Shine Special Care Centre, and many others like it around the country, simply do not have the financial muscle to provide for capital items, like vehicles, said Boltman.
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