Sincere gratitude was displayed among the elderly and some youth at the Mabopane Indoor Sports Hall in Pretoria on December 5, 2014, when the Department of Health and Social Development handed over wheelchairs to the destitute people with disabilities in Mabopane Township.

Mr. Abu Nayiluma, from the Tshwane Disability Forum, welcomed everyone who attended the event and motivated community members in wheelchairs to attend wheelchair events. Thereafter, Pastor Dineo Monnamorwa gave an opening prayer.

Ward councilor Joel Sindane thanked community members that were present on the day of the event. “It is wonderful to see those who used to be alone at home without company to come together and enjoy the day with gifts handed out,” said Cllr Sindane. “We should make every day a celebration.”

For some, like Maria Buda, it was her first wheelchair ever. At the age of 50, a severe stroke left her paralysed. She was forced, due to difficult financial circumstances, to spend her days in a wheelbarrow because it was her only way of mobility. She considered this day as a true miracle. “I am so happy today, it’s the best day of my life.” Before her stroke Maria was a domestic worker, today she is a pensioner and proud mother of six children.

Steven Baard, Managing Director of Ottobock Healthcare South Africa, was also present. He thanked Airports Company South Africa (ACSA) for their sponsorship.

Motivational speaker, Veronica Baloyi also gave a short inspirational message.

Nearly 15 recipients each received a wheelchair.