QuadPara Association of KZN

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1993 to 2008
-Ashley House was purchased and adapted to accommodate quadriplegics.
-Transport in a borrowed Microbus.
-Hospital visits and peer counselling were introduced
-4 Residents
-Purchased a VW Microbus, and adapted it to carry wheelchair users.
-Ashley House was extended and adjusted to accommodate another resident and a room to hire out as business premises.
-5 Residents
-2 adjacent plots of land were purchased with a view to expand.
-The purchase of a second VW Microbus saw our transport service extended.
-The double garage was converted into a computer centre.
-Room for hire was adapted to accommodate another quadriplegic.
-6 Residents
-The computer centre was used to train 24 disabled students – 6 month Dept. of Labour approved courses were delivered by an outside trainer.
-Our “Fun Days” were introduced to offer our members and their families a day out, and a time to meet others in a similar predicament. The first day was held at Hazelmere Dam, and was hugely successful. 3 Fun Days are held at different venues each year.
-7 Residents
-KZN quads were introduced to Wheelchair Rugby
-A second story was added to the outbuildings to accommodate the planned increase in staff.
-An outside room was upgraded and adapted to accommodate another quadriplegic.
-8 Residents
-Plans were passed, funds raised, and building started on the first phase of Ashley Village.
-The first phase of two double cottages was completed with paving, retaining walls, and a secure perimeter wall – Ashley Village is born.
-11 Residents
-Our original VW Microbus was stolen.
-A Peugeot midi bus was purchased and adapted to replace the stolen microbus, and to see to the increased transport needs.
 -A Caregiver Training program was started in response to an increase in requests for trained helpers within the community.
A new laundry………..
and a new regional office.
A year of catching up, with some service and resource planning…………….
-A Sprinter Midi bus was donated and adapted to cope with the increased demand for our transport. Transport for our mobility-impaired members was introduced as one of the Associations’ service projects.
-An outside room was upgraded and adapted to accommodate another quadriplegic.
-The National Road Safety project is adopted in KZN as a regional project – Buckle up, we DON’T want new members!
-The Association was also heavily involved with the Services SETA pilot Venture Creation learnership for 54 persons with mobility impairments in KZN. Graduation was in July 2004, when we witnessed some huge steps towards financial independence for the 54 learners.
 -Another Sprinter Midi bus was purchased and adapted to cope with the increased demand for our transport, as well as to expand our outreach and visitation programs.
-Plans were drawn, funds raised, and the contractor appointed to build three more single cottages at Ashley Village – to start January 2004.
-12 Residents
Ashley Village – final Cottage Phase
A wet start………..
But progressing well ……..
…….. looking good for April finish.
…………and completed bang on time!
-With some extensions that increased capacity to fourteen residents.
-House next door has been purchased and adapted for expanded accommodation, a new Regional Office, and a Library/Resource Centre.
-Increased to fifteen residents, and a fully equipped room for respite and short-term bridging between hospital and community.
Disabled Driver Training
-Hand controls
-Dual brake control
-Fully sponsored
Rural development
-The Association appointed a Provincial Development Coordinator on the 1st July 2004 in an effort to expand a meaningful service to the peri-urban and rural areas of KZN. Support groups have already been established in outlying areas, and they are being capacitated to handle counselling and equipment advice queries.
-We believe that our rural development program is essential to the successful development and survival of persons with mobility impairments in KZN. There is no “catchment” that can successfully lead a newly discharged SCI through the rigors of social reintroduction. These support groups will help towards independence for many SCI’s in Rural KZN.
-The support groups will also be expanded and developed through our Rural Capacity Building Program (see 2008).
Momentum Capacity Building Workshop
-A 2-day capacity building workshop was held at Ashley Village, and was attended by 22 disabled persons – 12 of whom from our rural support groups.
-Attendees were taken through Strategic Planning, Self-help centre management, Know your rights, transformation, and basic employment issues.
-This was a huge success, and has been instrumental in the decision to develop a six-week capacity building course planned for 2008 to 2012.
-The workshop was facilitated by QASA, and funded by Momentum.
Resource Centre and Library
-A place where persons with physical disabilities can read up on, or try out the latest equipment and assistive devices, browse the Internet, search for training and job opportunities, develop and print CV’s, copy, fax, bind, receive peer and family counselling and advice, etc.
A year from Hell – we really struggled to keep our projects alive, and we all aged ten years, but we will get them in 2008!!!!
After coming very close to closure in the first half of the year, we were able to revive and rebuild our projects with some generous funding and some additional fundraising efforts.
 Fundraising & other Partnerships
Events & Initiatives
-A very successful breakfast was hosted at the Elangeni, with Ian MacIntosh and Jake White imparting some valuable insights into the realms of International and World Cup rugby. A similar event will be held annually as part of our sustainability goals.
-We are investigating initiatives that include Digital Imaging and Filing services, and CCTV monitoring and training.
-At this stage we feel the CCTV and Training business offers a zero risk option that can be grown to sustain the village on a long-term basis. We have been offered a partnership with a major equipment supplier and an experienced accredited trainer. Capital funding is needed however, to set up our part of the business (secure control room).
-A sponsored Golf Day was hosted by Andrew Wood Properties, and some much needed funding came our way, and kept the wheels turning.
Wheel clamping & Parking Disks
We have partnered Traffic Policing Associates, who are engaging some of the Shopping Centres to police their parking areas. We benefit from the full proceeds collected from clamping in bays designated for disabled disk holders.
We are also issuing parking disks to qualifying persons, and this is generating a small revenue.
Accessible Shuttle Service
-“Budget Chauffer Services” have adapted a vehicle with a lift and wheelchair ties, and have partnered with the Association in an effort to offer safe, accessible transport to local and visiting wheelchair users. We applaud this initiative, and look forward to other enterprises taking up the challenge of providing accessible transport – the largest stumbling block to equitable employment opportunities facing wheelchair users.
-The vehicle is currently based at Durban International Airport.
Health & Leisure
-A few of our members responded to an invitation from CURAMUS to attend their annual fly-fishing competition at Nottingham Road. A great chance for networking; many friends were made; and a good time was had by all. Thanks CURAMUS, we look forward to 2009 at Durban Harbour.
Giving back
-Although times were tough for us, we managed (with sponsorship) to give a little to some kids from Mariannhill District – what a truly moving experience.
Rural Capacity Building Program
-The six week live-in courses which started in February 2009 are proving to be invaluable to rural participants. The personal growth and confidence gained from the course has seen a renewed and positive motivation to improve their own lifestyles and prospects, and those of other disabled persons within their communities.
One of their tasks is to maintain existing rural support groups, or establish new groups in areas where none exist. Good functioning support groups are critical to the successful reintegration and longevity of newly discharged SCI’s, and can be the difference between life and death.
We are proud to have initiated this program in KZN, and have undertaken to assist other QuadPara regions to roll the project out within their regions.
The KZN course has a waiting list of eager participants for the coming year.
We have made some excellent contacts in Harding and Richmond, and have had some productive visits to these areas.
Both areas need assistance to establish centres for disabled development – sports, arts, basic handcraft and business skills, etc. Both have enthusiastic champions who are ready to drive the projects
QAK will assist with fundraising and administration procedures.
Various events were held over the year. A very well supported golf day was held at Kloof Country Club, as well as a pigeon race and formal dinner-auction were the main events held.
Other smaller fundraisers helped to keep the wheels turning.
Caregiver Training
Our very successful caregiver training program for unemployed ladies from disadvantaged communities, continued into its eleventh year in 2010.
We are very proud of the standards produced and the high placement rate achieved over the years.
Of the 93 trainees who started the course since 2000, 11 have been employed full time at Ashley Village, 10 are current trainees, 10 are deceased, 12 dropped out and 39 are employed elsewhere.
Quite a year with the World Cup dominating thoughts and actions for a good chunk of the year. We did, however, make some landmark development choices by adding HIV-AIDS to our project focus. Two valuable partnerships were forged – one with Ikhaya Lobomi and one with HEARD, a research program at University of Durban – Westville.
New – HIV-AIDS & Reproductive Health Program for Disabled
All too often persons with disabilities are sidelined from HIV testing and AIDS treatment programs. Both are limited, so those administering these programs either openly state that testing a person with a disability is a waste because “they will never have a sexual relationship”, or more subtly feel that “ able bodied” persons are move valuable to “save”.
The QuadPara Association of KZN has noted concerns emanating from our membership and others with disabilities, and has introduced and HIV-AIDS & Reproductive Health Program for persons with disabilities in KwaZulu-Natal.
The Association has partnered Ikhaya Lobomi – a 45 bed step down facility situated in a severely disadvantaged community in KwaNyuswa (The Valley of a Thousand Hills), just north-west of Hillcrest KZN.
We have agreed to train a person with a disability and one other to repair wheelchairs, and then to run a wheelchair repair business from a container on the property. This will encourage wheelchair users to visit Ikhaya Lobomi, and to become a part of the program.
Local leaders are very excited about the project.
Wheelchair Distribution
50 standard wheelchairs were distributed from the Church of Jesus Christ Latter Day Saints, and a further 40 rural wheelchairs were distributed from the Hillcrest Rotary Club. Many of these wheelchairs went to those who didn’t have a wheelchair.
Expanded Transport
We are under huge pressure to expand our accessible (and aging) transport in and around the Ethekwini are. Mobility impaired persons are at a massive disadvantage when it comes to basic, reliable, and safe transport. Two new fitted midi busses have replaced two of our ten year old busses, thanks to NLDTF and the Victor Daitz Foundation.
We see our provision as a “drop in the ocean” – but every drop counts.
Movie Making
Some of our staff and members took part in an interactive video course so more of our activities can be recorded, and DVD reports can be produced.
Provincial Development
Our goal is to continue to establish support groups in all the Districts, as well as at all rural hospitals. These groups, once trained and capacitated, will form the catchment “network” and support needed for our Mobile Rehabilitation program, and newly discharged SCI’s.
Supply and loans of Specialised Equipment
We aim to increase our stocks of specialised equipment for loan. This includes air mattresses, specialised wheelchairs, pressure cushions, etc.
Capacity Building Program
Building character and independence through basic life skills and leadership development.
Ashley Village Project
A full maintenance and security upgrade is desperately needed at the village. At present there are up to 17 quadriplegics and paraplegics living with inadequate security, some structural repairs are long overdue, buildings are in need of paint, and some safety and access issues need addressing.
The house next door is on the market. A total of R1 200 000 is required to purchase and modify for wheelchair access. The house has three bedrooms and 2 single flatlets, with room to build another two double bungalows – an additional nine places for rural capacity building and basic skills development courses.
We also need to implement and secure the ongoing sustainability of this project – caregiver salaries, garden maintenance salaries, utility costs, and groceries, can only be seen as essential project costs – without them Ashley Village closes its doors.
Sustainability Initiatives
The following initiatives have been introduced to assist with ongoing regional project sustainability:-
Chatterbox Call Centre
The Call Centre is negotiating two corporate contracts, and is currently running an information line and a communication centre for accessible transport bookings. We anticipate these will contribute significantly to the Associations sustainability initiatives.
Durban MiniTown
MiniTown on the Durban beachfront is owned (not the land) by the Association, and has been the source of a steady monthly income that added R21 600 to our annual income last year. Ethekwini Council is keen to see this tourist attraction upgraded and improved to host mini Ushaka, Moses Mabhida Stadium, King Shaka Trade Port, etc. Business is slowing down dramatically, and it is a good time to investigate the feasibility of alternate options.
“Back to work” Project
The Association recently entered into a partnership with Scribante Labour Consultants to place persons with disabilities back into mainstream employment. The Association reaps a double benefit – seeing a real increase in the equity ratio for disabled, and monetary spin-off for each placement initiated through the Association.
Three quadriplegics and two paraplegics were placed in permanent employment, and a further three quadriplegics and one paraplegic have been employed in our communication and booking centre in 2010.
Security & Tracking
We have entered into a partnership with Netwize, a group that specialises in CCTV monitoring. Six persons with physical disabilities were trained for CCTV monitoring at Ashley Village. Monitoring can remotely monitor businesses, warehousing, heavy vehicles. Etc.
Dial-A-Ride Booking & Communication Centre
Ethekwini Transport Authority has contacted Vukasambe Investments (PTY) Ltd, a transport service provider, to run an accessible transport system for persons with disabilities in the Ethekwini area.
The QuadPara Association of KZN have partnered Vukasambe in their transport plan, and are contracted to establish, manage, and run a bookings and communication centre between 5am and 8pm seven days a week.
General Fundraising
A number of fundraising events are run on an ongoing basis. These include; corporate golf days, corporate speaker functions, pigeon racing, ad hoc venue hire for club meetings, small event evenings etc.
Funding continues to be a constant source of anxious and uncomfortable times, and further income generation projects need to be established and developed if we have any chance of ongoing sustainability and development in the years ahead.
Parking Management
We are fortunate to be the beneficiaries of parking fines paid to some of the larger shopping centres in KZN by drivers abusing disabled parking bays. In an ideal world this project would show a zero income, but unfortunately disabled parking bays remain the main target for the “just a minute” specialists.
Amashova Cycle Race
We at the Association were “blown away” by the generosity of a number of AmaShova riders and their sponsors. The 2010 ride brought in around R110 000 for the Association’s Ashley Village project, thanks to Greg, who rode the hand cycle, Patrick, who co-ordinated the fundraising aspect, and all participating riders and sponsors. Patrick has already started organising for 2011.07.07
*** 2011 and beyond... ***
A real challenge to continue growing to make a significant difference to the lives of those we have committed to serve.
The Association will add “Children with Physical Disabilities” as a project from 2011. There is a massive need out there, and we would like to use our experience to make a difference where we can.

 We are truly proud of our development growth since 1993, but remain forever grateful to all who have chosen to partner our dreams over the years.