Chariots of Hope — transforming lives the WIZO way

Children from the Ithembelihle School in Primrose, Germiston receive their life-changing wheelchairs

Central to the mandate and vision of the Women’s International Zionist Organisation (WIZO) is doing what matters and making a difference in the lives of those who need it most.

Through the kindness of generous donors, WIZO SA has been able to purchase top of the range, Israeli-designed wheelchairs for children and distribute them across South Africa. These wheelchairs have been designed, developed and manufactured by Israeli NGO, Wheelchairs of Hope, an organisation that seeks to provide wheelchairs to children in need of mobility.

They can be used for children between 5-9 years of age and up to 40kg who have enough independent back strength to support themselves in a sitting position. Since 2018 WIZO SA has distributed more than 180 wheelchairs.

Despite the various challenges that the Covid-19 pandemic has brought, WIZO South Africa has continued to actively make a difference in the lives of children who have faced many trials and traumas.

Over the last six months In Cape Town a wheelchair was given to a child at Sunrise Special Care Centre and to two children at the Sive Nathi Children’s home. A brave, nine-year-old girl named Zaarah who had to have her leg amputated because of bone cancer also received a wheelchair and it has significantly transformed her life.

In Johannesburg, we were delighted to give six wheelchairs to children at Afrika Tikkun’s Community Centre, five to the Kutullo Disability Care Centre and at the Ithembelihle School, 15 children received wheelchairs. In Durban, six children received wheelchairs through the Association for the Physically Challenged.

WIZO SA has been honoured to be part of something that has enabled children with disabilities to become mobile, remain healthy and participate more fully in community life. This mobility is a key factor in building the children’s self-esteem and helping to create a better future for them and their families.

Since 2017 over 5000 children across six continents have received a Wheelchair of Hope and we at WIZO SA are proud to be a part of this amazing Israeli initiative.

If you know of any children, schools, organisations or institutions that could benefit from one of these wheelchairs or if you would like to support this work financially, please email

Tamar Lazarus presents a wheelchair of hope to a young recipient at the Siva Nathi Children’s Home in Cape Town

• Published in the print edition of the March/April Pesach 2021 issue. Download the March/April 2021 issue PDF here.

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