MVA Fund special event raises awareness of social and physical impact of road accidents
By Natasha Jacha.
The Motor Vehicle Accident (MVA) Fund celebrated its 9th edition of the Wheelchair Fun Ride last week under the theme “Don’t Dis My Ability” for people seriously injured in a car crash but who managed to re-enter their lives through the fund’s ample assistance.
The event was intended to rais awareness of the social and physical impact caused by motor vehicle crashes.
The Wheelchair Fun Ride was initiated in 2009 to support the seriously injured with attaining their rehabilitation goals and reintegrate them back into the community, school or work. This event is part of the Fund’s Corporate Social Investment policy of which the objectives are founded on the national developmental agenda to support Vision 2030 and the Harambee Prosperity Plan.
“After a crash, good-health does not only end upon discharge from hospital but goes further than that as the fund offers tailored rehabilitation programmes to help the seriously injured achieve independence,” said the fund’s Chief Executive, Rosalia Martins-Hausiku as she welcomed the participants to the special event.
This year’s event gathered 70 persons with disabilities resulting from motor vehicle crashes and their caretakers from the Khomas and Omaheke regions as well as Okahandja to socialise, network and share what they have learned since their injury. The event, which kicked off with a health-walk to the Wanderers Sports Ground in Pioneers Park ended on a high note with a special Christmas lunch.
Deputy Minister of Disability Affairs, Hon. Alexia Manombe-Ncube urged the communities to create an inclusive society that allows people with disabilities to participate in all aspects of life. “Persons with disabilities often face barriers to participate in all aspects of life which affects their access to education, employment, transportation, and their social interactions are also limited,” said Manombe-Ncube.
The Fund’s Chief Operation Officer, Phillip Nghifitikeko, during his closing remarks emphasised that all participants must take charge of their journey to recovery by continuing to participate in such activities.
“It is through events like this that our health, lives and overall well-being are enriched. I, therefore urge all of you to take charge of your journey to recovery and continue to strive for excellence in all that you do,” said Nghifitikeko.
Ms. Theopoldine Kandjou expressed her gratitude to the MVA for giving her independence and urged all seriously injured persons not to let what happened to them define their personality.
In another personal testimony, Tony Bock who sustained a life-changing injury in 2012, re-counted how he struggled to move freely from one class to the other when he returned to school to complete his Grade 11.
“My friends would carry me up the stairs to attend my next class as there were no ramps at the school. They always made sure that I was never left behind and that motivated me to study harder,” he said.
Bock is currently reading a Bachelor Degree in Law at the University of Namibia and encouraged others to never look down on themselves. He further thanked the fund for assisting him with his driver’s license saying, “now I am able to drive myself wherever I want to go.”
Motivating the participants at the event, Ruusa Ntinda reminded them about their identity no matter their disability.
“The disability part of us forms part of our characteristics but we all have our own identity first. Let us always remember who we are. We are not disabled but differently able,” said Ntinda.