The Department of Social Development (DSD) spearheaded by the Mpumalanga DSD Departmental head, Mpumalanga Provincial Representative, Project Supervisor and town Thabachweu /Lydenburg Social representatives visited Ama Wheelies at the farm Rietfontein situated within the rural district of Badfontein.
The visit of senior DSD management was to inform Ama Wheelies that they have a mandate; any project not previously funded is not to receive subsidy unless the project is based in a township. The DSD therefore report, although the farm visit is in recognition of Ama Wheelies and its work as a registered Non-Profit Organization (NPO), commending Ama Wheelies and its projects, they encouraged Ama Wheelies to continue finding private donors, to fund Ama Wheelies operations for the DSD are unable to grant funds unless the NPO is “Township based”.
Although Ama Wheelies emphasized to the DSD that the farm is situated within Badfontein district, it did not change the decision and in addition they commented that they have budget constraints and that within the town of Lydenburg they have only one Disabled centre approved for funding and it is Wenaker -an institution for mentally handicapped. The DSD further will not approve ‘Self-Help Centres’ be it for Blind, Deaf or quadriplegic for town Lydenburg as all disable needs are cared for at the disabled centre Wenaker, the Lydenburg institution for Mentally Handicapped.
The shocking news was not received well by members of Ama Wheelies and the DSD suggested a follow up meeting enabling one member of Ama Wheelies (Felix) the Lydenburg Social representatives (Sphiwe), Department Health representative (Annelize) and Lydenburg Municipal co-ordinator for persons with disability (Albina) to report on feasibility of relocating projects into the township and arranging accommodation at Wenaker.
The DSD visit was prompted in responds to the submission of Ama Wheelies annual Business plans as required from a registered NPO. NPO’S are required to disclose activity, provide financial statements and apply for annual ‘grant.’ The business plan is motivation as to how funds applied for will be used.
As a NPO Ama Wheelies prepared a comprehensive Grant application funding the 6 spears of operations as outlined in our Business plan. Our service is unique in Mpumalanga. The 24hr care and accommodation Ama Wheelies offer; the Training and rehabilitation both to Quadriplegics and family members; the Outreach program is designed to assist and Empower these disabled persons living with family or on their own and the Outreach Supporting them. The Job Creation Program create Special Protected work opportunities for these vulnerable disabled persons; and the Sport program facilitating and Enabling Disabled Sport the Tool we use to Uplift, Motivate and give New-Hope to disabled persons.
Ama Wheelies provide a range of services to Victims of Crime. These Persons Permanently Injured at young age in Car HI-Jackings, Robberies and Traumatic Car Accidents further suffer in that their families are not equipped or trained to take care of these persons suffering spinal injury, and no longer able to take care of themselves! Helpless they are abused by their families for their pensions and we ask help funding our home, help with rehabilitation enabling those still with families to overcome problems.
Ama Wheelies first applied to Thabachweu /Lydenburg Municipality December 2007 for help and guidance. Ama Wheelies received our NPO number in 2010 and annually been submitting Business plan on Business plan unsuccessfully. In vain Ama Wheelies application for funding has also been made to the Youth Development Fund, Job Creation Fund, Department of works, SEDA and various SETA’s and annually to Department Land Reconciliation and Reform!
Our applications for government grants seem to fall on deaf ears.
Ironically the DSD overlook letters from the Department of Health which clearly state: “Suitable accommodation and care for disabled persons, especially quadriplegics, is extremely hard to come by. Besides Ama Wheelies, Mpumalanga does not have any other accommodation for quadriplegics.” with this in mind our funding requests are shot down and our members are told to apply for accommodation at a mental health institution?
Ama Wheelies although recognized as the only suitable accommodation and training center for quadriplegics in Mpumalanga is not receiving government funding. As a direct result we are forced to continue finding private donors to keep our organization floating.
We would like to take this opportunity to thank all the private and corporate donors who continue to support Ama Wheelies.
You guys rock! Thank you.