Bnoth Zion WIZO presented four Israeli-designed children’s wheelchairs to Maitland Cottage Children’s Orthopedic Hospital in Newlands on 7 February.
In South Africa, children with disabilities are among the most neglected groups. The social stigma and lack of resources and accessibility are daunting obstacles, and these children are often totally reliant on family and friends for help. For some, the only way to get around is to crawl, making it impossible to get to school. In fact, government statistics estimate that as many as 600 000 disabled children are not getting an education, further impacting their physical, social and intellectual development and wellbeing.
These chairs are part of a consignment of 50 child-size wheelchairs that WIZO, with the help of generous donors, has brought in from Israeli NPO ‘Wheelchairs of Hope’ to bolster its local outreach programmes.
“The simple provision of these wheelchairs from Israel can have a lifelong impact on these kids, and their entire family unit can be transformed by the gift of the basic human right of mobility”, says Tamar Lazarus, past President of WIZO SA.
WIZO is in the process of distributing the wheelchairs to disadvantaged children in Kwazulu-Natal through a UNICEF affiliate and to the Nelson Mandela Children’s Hospital in Gauteng, as well as some individual children.
Present at the handover ceremony were: Israeli Deputy Ambassador Ayellet Black, WIZO SA President Moonyeen Castle, the matron and staff of Maitland Cottage Hospital as well as donors and members of the WIZO Executive.