The Qhakaza Disability Group in Nyanga has launched a drive to get those living with one leg to get free shoes and life skills.
The drive, with help from retail giant Woolworths, will help anyone who has only one leg to get a shoe.
Simphiwe Ngxamngxa, treasurer of the group, said their members are spending a lot of money to buy a pair of shoes when one will be thrown away. He appealed to people living with disabilities, especially those who have one leg, to contact them when they need shoes.
“Our wish is to use our influence and do what we can to get more companies or big businesses to join us in making this project sustainable and impactful. We owe it to ourselves, as disabled people, to make sure that we have the rights and dignity we deserve,” he said.
He said it was difficult to identify where to distribute the shoes.
“We want to make a call to the public to ask anyone who has disabilities to contact us if they want shoes and we would like to offer it to them free of charge,” said Mr Ngxamngxa, explaining that Woolworths would provide them with shoes where one half of the pair had a factory fault.
Mr Ngxamngxa said life is tough for people living with disabilities because some only get a grant.
James Sogaga, chairman of the Qhakaza Disability Group, added that they are still in talks with other businesses. He said that his group also motivates and encourages disabled people to stay strong and do things for themselves. He said there are many things that people living with disabilities are subjected to where their rights were abused. He also called for it to be normal for there to be ramps everyywhere and those with one leg to be able to buy shoes at shops and markets.
“We are in talks with other shops to donate. We know there are shoes that are good but are thrown out because they have small faults. Those are shoes that we and our people need. But I must stress that we can’t encourage our people to go beg around in the malls or on the road side. We encourage them to learn to be independent,” he said.
If you or anyone you know needs shoes, can call Mr Ngxamngxa at 076 291 8470 or Mr Sogaga at 083 771 9212.