SIOC Community Development Trust (SIOC-cdt) recently donated a 31-seater bus to transport para-plegics to the Oasis Skills Development Centre in Upington, Northern Cape.
The bus was customised to carry wheelchair bound learners and is fitted with a lift to enable easier access.
The donation, which consisted of the bus as well as various items of therapeu-tic and stimulating equipment, valued at R2,3-million, is part of SIOC-cdt's wel-fare and disability programme.
The bus was handed over by SIOC-cdt to the management and staff of the Oasis Skills Development Centre on 25 April 2018 during a small hand-over ceremony which was also attended by the learners.
The stimulation and therapeutic equip-ment donated by SIOC-cdt included customised wheel chairs, standing fra-mes, side positioners, cushions, balls and therapy room equipment for the many learners with disabilities at the cen-tre.
The equipment was manufactured by Uhambo Foundation, following individual assessments of each learner's mobility requirements and challenges. The equipment remains the property of the centre when the learner's exit from the programme though.
The management and volunteers at the centre were trained in using, as-sembling and fixing the equipment as re-quired on a regular basis.
Tao Mutsago, Head of Projects at SIOC-cdt, said of this donation, ''This do-nation is part of our efforts to promote in-clusivity in our communities, which pla-ces deliberate effort on vulnerable groups, including children living with dis-abilities. In line with our mission, we are living to our promise to afford our bene-ficiaries an equal platform to excel and define their destinies.”
In the same vein, SIOC-cdt donated a similar paraplegic bus to the Helen Bis-hop Orthopaedic After Care Centre in Kimberley in February 2018.
Oasis Skills Development Centre is a non-profit organisation established in 1999 to provide basic academic educa-tion, therapeutic activities, stimulation and skills transfer to people (mostly chil-dren) with disabilities. The centre sus-tains this goal by means of revenue generated from ancillary income-gene-rating activities.
Oasis currently has an enrolment of 87 disabled and 11 non-disabled learners and strives to create work opportunities for unemployed mothers, older persons and the disabled as volunteers in teach-ing and non-teaching activities.
Marina Johannesen of the centre ex-pressed her sincere gratitude, on behalf of the Executive Committee of the centre said, “The Oasis centre is extremely gra-teful towards SIOC Community Develop-ment Trust for having heeded the call of the organisation to consider, in such a tangible way, the needs of people with disabilities”.
Social investments such as these as-sets always come in handy for institu-tions such as Oasis which are non-profit in nature and rely mostly on donations and ancillary revenue.
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