Quadriplegics and paraplegics from KwaZulu‐Natal’s disadvantaged rural and peri‐urban areas, who are often discharged from hospitals without rehabilitation or support mechanisms, are set to benefit from a new Pinetown‐based capacity‐building facility designed to teach them how to manage their disabilities, giving them back their independence and motivating them to reach their true potential.

Thanks to a donation of R600 000 by the South African Muslim Charitable Trust (SAMCT), a new six‐ room Capacity‐building and Care Centre has been developed on a property adjacent to the Ashley Village Self‐help Centre especially for people with severe physical disabilities from rural parts of the province.
This is a project of the QuadPara Association of KwaZulu‐Natal and is being led by Project Build, a charitable trust which aims to improve the quality of life for disadvantaged communities by addressing their needs through the provision of educational and community facilities and assisting individuals to develop a sense of personal worth, dignity and competence.

Commenting on the SAMCT’s donation package, which has assisted in making the new facility possible, Trustee, Mr Shabir Chohan, said: “Because of the high cost of care and assistance, all too often disadvantaged individuals ‐ and especially those from outlying areas of the province ‐ suffering from spinal cord injuries end up leading less than functional lives and fail to receive the support they deserve after such injuries.”
“We, of the SAMCT, recognise the importance of effective support and rehabilitative assistance and believe than any initiative which serves to optimise the lives of disadvantaged rurally‐based quadriplegics and paraplegics deserves to be roundly applauded.”
He said he was confident that the newly developed Capacity‐building and Care Centre would make an immediate and positive impact on this particularly needy and vulnerable sector of society in KwaZulu‐Natal.

The extension to Ashley Village Self‐help Centre involved the purchase of a next‐door property and the project funded by the SAMCT saw the significant upgrade of the building, transforming it into a fully functional and accessible six‐bed care facility, opening the door to the delivery of a comprehensive capacity‐building and life‐skills development programme for disadvantaged quadriplegics and paraplegics.

The QuadPara Association of KwaZulu‐Natal has been assisting disabled members through informal peer counselling, interaction and advice since 1992 and its Ashley Village project has grown into one of the most successful assisted accommodation facilities in South Africa. The association was, however, eager to extend its services to the disabled from rural areas; people often discharged from hospitals with little hope of living fulfilling lives as contributing members of society.
The aim of the expanded Capacity‐building and Care Centre is to develop basic life and personal management skills for those living with significant spinal cord injuries within rural communities through face‐to‐face and side‐by‐side peer interaction, workshop training and positive motivation.

Mr Chohan said: “The SAMCT is cognisant of the financial constraints facing charitable organisations in the vital health‐care field of operation in South Africa today. It was clear to us from the outset that we could make a meaningful contribution towards assisting in the expansion of Ashley Village’s services and, especially is laudable outreach to the significantly disabled amongst our needy rural and disadvantaged communities.”

He said that the SAMCT had been established in 2008, enabling the provision of funding, services and other resources for numerous deserving organisations, as well as the improvement of the lives of our country’s deprived, poverty‐stricken and historically disadvantaged communities. Since inception, the organisation has delivered sizeable financial assistance solutions throughout the country, irrespective of race or religion.

Mr Chohan described the SAMCT’s financial assistance to Project Build’s commitment to helping the QuadPara Association of KwaZulu‐Natal’s realise its new centre development, as a ‘humble contribution in light of the positive impact it will have on the lives of the disadvantaged, giving them a renewed sense of independence and the knowledge that they could also become contributing members of society’.

“We trust that our funding will give effect to the capacity‐building and care solution you seek, enabling you to optimise your expertise in the field to better the lives of those rurally‐based individuals living with significant spinal cord injuries into the future,” he told officials of both Project Build and the QuadPara Association of KwaZulu‐Natal.

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For more information about SAMCT or its Ashley Village Capacity‐building and Care Centre donation, please contact:

Rasheeda Motala
Social Responsibility Officer
Tel: +27 31 364 9183

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