Wheelchairs can give the disabled the dignity of mobility and independence, but they remain out of reach for many in the township who need them.
That changed for Sibongiseni Nxopho and Lungiswa Bangiso in Site C on Saturday when the Azosule Society, an NGO, presented them each with a wheelchair.
Sibongiseni’s mother, Madlomo Nxopho, 71, said she was thrilled with the donation. Her 38-year-old daughter was born mentally and physically disabled.
Ms Nxopho said she had struggled unsuccessfully for many years to get a wheelchair for her daughter and she would have to get other children and relatives to help her whenever she had to take Sibongiseni to the clinic.
“I have no words to explain how I feel about this donation,” she said. “This means more to us as the family. I have been longing for a wheelchair for years now, and my prayers have been answered.”
Ms Nxopho pleaded with the government to build her a proper house. She shares her three-roomed shack with eight people including her children and grandchildren.
Noxolo Mafilika, the founder of Azosule, said it was a great feeling to be able to give someone an appropriately fitting mobility device. It allowed them to explore their environment and prevented injury, she said.
It meant a great deal to her, she said, when someone’s face lit up with a smile because they were no longer confined to their house.
“My aim is to make a lasting impact on the lives of those I touch. Whatever that God has given me I must ensure that I make a difference on the lives of those who are less fortunate. I don’t have much, but I appreciate the little that God has provided me with,” she said.
Lungiswa’s young sister, Sisanda Bangiso, the family was very happy that her sister had received the wheelchair. Ms Bangiso said her sister had fallen ill and had received a wheelchair in 2009 after her discharge from hospital, but it had since broken.
She said she prayed daily for her sister to get an electric wheelchair.