Safe and Efficient Transport for Worcester’s Special Needs Children Thanks to SAMCT R650 000 Vehicle Donation

 

The transport woes of 21 special needs children in the care of Worcester’s Breede Valley Association for Persons with Disabilities, are a thing of the past, following the donation of new R650 000, especially adapted 23-seater vehicle.

The vehicle donation was made the South African Muslim Charitable Trust (SAMCT) when it became clear that the Association’s 14-year-old, ill-equipped mini-bus was unable to cope with its safe and efficient transport needs. The urgent need of the Association was brought to the attention of the SAMCT by the MAMAS CSI Agency, a specialised unit of the MAMAS Alliance, which facilitates relationships between funders and 33 NGOs working with vulnerable children across South Africa.

Officiating at the recent hand-over of the special new vehicle, SAMCT representative, Mr Faried Boltman, said: “The Association has on hand incredibly dedicated staff, passionate about their vocation and committed to the children in their care. They have great expertise and the necessary programmes to assist in the children’s development. Critical, however, to being able to deliver, is transport… safe, efficient and accessible transport. A crucial aspect of the Association’s service to the community is the daily collection and return of the special needs children who attend the Association’s Rise and Shine Special Care Centre and this was becoming increasingly compromised.”

The Breede Valley Association for Persons with Disabilities was established in 1951 and does extraordinary work in the Worcester area, ensuring that those it serves, whether with physical or intellectual disabilities, benefit from carefully planned stimulation programmes.

Mr Boltman said the Association’s goal is to ensure that the special children in its care are able to enjoy a meaningful life, learn self-reliance and become active participants in the community.

“It strives to provide opportunities for special needs children to develop to their fullest potential and to ensure that these young people are recognised as having a role to play going forward,” he added.

“We believe that the Association and its dedicated Centre does tremendous work with its stimulation programmes for the special needs children in its care and this is really where its focus needs to be, without the heavy burden of worrying about transport issues. We also recognised, however, that without its provision of transport, some of those in its care simply would not be able to reach the Centre and it would be an absolute tragedy if the deserving youngsters served here were to be denied access simply because of a vehicle,” said Mr Boltman.

The Association has for years had to ‘make do’ with its older mini-bus to transport their charges. However, the small size of the vehicle meant the driver having to make two trips each day to both collect and deliver the children, regarded as inefficient from both a cost and time perspective.

In addition, the old vehicle was not equipped to deal with wheelchairs and buggies, placing additional physical strain on the caregivers looking after the youngsters needs during the home and the Centre transfers.

Mr Boltman stressed: “Our intention upon hearing of the Association’s plight and its growing inability to transport those it serves efficiently, safely and in a timely manner, was to step in and assist. I am, therefore, pleased to say that the transport woes of the Breede Valley Association for Persons with Disabilities is today a thing of the past. Transport is an indispensable service the Association must be in a position to provide, forming – as it does – an extension of its overall offering.”

It is a ‘sad reality’ that non-profit organisations, such as Breede Valley Association for Persons with Disabilities and its Rise and Shine Special Care Centre, and many others like it around the country, simply do not have the financial muscle to provide for capital items, like vehicles, said Mr Boltman.

The SAMCT was created in 2008, the result of a partnership between Old Mutual Unit Trusts and Al Baraka Bank for the creation, marketing and distribution of a suite of Shariah Funds. Such partnership ensures that the SAMCT is the beneficiary of this Shariah suite of funds in order to provide funding, services and other resources for the improvement of the lives of the vulnerable, deprived and disadvantaged.

The organisation has been singularly successful in delivering sizeable assistance solutions throughout South Africa – irrespective of race or religion – and continues to work to support needy organisations in the fields of health, social development, poverty alleviation and education.

Mr Boltman concluded: “I would hope that our humble contribution will make a significant difference to all those associated with the Breede Valley Association for Persons with Disabilities – the staff, the youngsters and their families.”

ends

For more information about SAMCT or
its Breede Valley Association for Persons with Disabilities, Worcester, Cape Town, donation, please contact:

Rasheeda Motala

Social Responsibility Officer Tel: 084 506 2280
Email: samct@samct.co.za

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