Hundreds of differently-abled school children throughout Southern Africa will receive the gift of mobility with the donation of 455 brand new wheelchairs worth R1,5 million by Vodacom and Game Stores this month. This brings the total number of wheelchairs presented to deserving youngsters by the two organisations over the past ten years to more than 3800 with a value of more than R7.2 million.

“Vodacom takes great pleasure in being a force for good in our communities and we are humbled to be involved with this initiative. Differently-abled members of the community are close to our heart. This is reflected in our sponsorship of the SA Paralympic team and also the elite Wheelchair Basketball South Africa tour. We hope that by assisting these school children to become mobile, we will empower them to reach for the stars and make their dreams a reality,” commented Alberts Breed, Managing Executive:
Vodacom KZN at the wheelchair handover.

The KZN Vodacom and Game wheelchair handover took place on Wednesday (August 13) at the AM Moola School in Phoenix. Children from the following schools benefited from the handover- the Brown School, AM Moola Special School, the Open Air School in Glenwood, R.P. Moodley School, the Cerebral Palsy
Association, Kwazamokhuhle School, Stepping Stones School, Harding School and St. Raphael’s School.

The initiative is a longstanding partnership in which an equal percentage of the profit on every Vodacom cell phone sold at all Game stores is donated to the wheelchair fund. This is topped up regularly from Game’s social investment budget, which is allocated to uplifting and empowering those in need in communities served by their stores, with a special focus on children.

A third partner in the initiative, the National Council for Persons with Physical Disabilities in South Africa, identifies the recipients – children with the greatest need for a wheelchair – with the input of its provincial
offices around the country.

Priority is given to schoolchildren in disadvantaged communities, particularly those who are unable to go to school or who find attending school difficult without a wheelchair.

All of the wheelchairs are folding models approved by the SABS and custom-made to suit the individual needs of each child, according to specifications provided by their therapists. As a result, they provide far more support for the children than a standard wheelchair, allowing them more freedom of movement and helping prevent further deterioration in their posture.

The manufacturers also take into account the conditions where the children live, which is particularly important in rural areas where the ground is uneven.

The donation follows a recent handover of a new bus from the Vodacom Foundation to differently abled learners of the Schola Amoris School in Umzinto.