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Arthur Piercy Trust for Spinal Cord Injuries PDF Print E-mail
Written by Arthur D Piercy   
Saturday, 25 July 2009 12:11

Don't let anyone try and convince you being disabled is a walk in the park - no matter how large or minor a disability may be. Then when you have to contend with a 3rd world environment where disability is in the background and survival of the masses in the foreground things become difficult and frustrating.

I was definitely in a privileged position when I was injured. I was treated in a brand new state of the art Military hospital. At the time I believe South Africa had the most experienced trauma doctors and medical personal available - Our bush war at the time was possibly responsible for this.

Times have change and wars have stopped and new governments have taken over. Now there is a new section of disability that requires attention. There masses of disabled people who are not in the same privileged position of having a medical or facilities for rehab like I did.

I cannot even begin to imagine what it would be like to be living in a rural area or township or even a squatter camp and still have to contend with a disability. 

In South Africa there are distinct areas which I believe need urgent attention but unfortunately the powers to be don't appear to share the same urgency I have. The average disability pension is around R1100.00 p/m or at current exchange rates is USD$164 / £104 / €112. With that you are expected to find accommodation, feed yourself and family and even pay for a care giver to assist with your disability. Then I haven't even mentioned the medical aspects.

One of the areas that need attention is 'suitable accessible accommodation'. Living in the unstructured squatter camps and crowded townships with little or no services available must be a living hell. I struggle in the developed areas with accessibility so I can only try and imagine what frustrations they are going though.

Another one is 'education and employment'. The disabled need to be employed. If they can earn a more respectable wage and even come off the pension then life should have a little more meaning and be a little more dignified. With employment come skills and learning new trades.

Another area lacking is 'accessible transport'. How does one get employment if you can't get to work. How does one look for work if you can't get to the interviews.

Now I can't single handed change all the above mentioned issues however I can assist one individual at a time and take them through a process that will allow them to work towards achieving greatness and independence.

For this reason I have created The AP Trust for Spinal cord Injuries. Funds will be used to assist in finding accommodation for individuals or even modifying their existing environment to suit their needs. Help with finding accessible transportation and/or vehicle modifications and help in re-skilling those that require it so that they can find employment.

For twenty years I have been involved with various organizations for the disabled and it is demoralizing to see the suffering and frustration. Time for me to try and make a change! With these thoughts and concerns in mind I decided to use this world challenge as a fund raiser for the disabled primarily here in South Africa but also for all the organizations we plan to see and visit during this challenge.

So I am hoping to raise $1,000,000.00 plus which the trust will use to help out in addressing the problems mentioned above.

Last Updated on Wednesday, 05 January 2011 11:13


Extracts from a testimonial recieved from the South African Qualifications Authority (SAQA)

"I would like to thank Arthur Piercy for inspiring us. We need to always have driven and positive human beings like him, who don't constantly dwell on the ills of the past but on the possibilties of the future" (Zola)

"To me the important points that he made were that one's life is very important and it is that indiviual's responsibility to take care of it no matter what; and that determination can conquerany obstacle" (David)

"I was humbled by his humility, determination and passion for life. Nothing can and will stand in his way and I admire it about him. He just opened my eyes to the fact that if you want to you can, all you need is determination" (Ntombi) 

"Indeed your response to a life changing circumstance certainly places you in a special class, somewhere above the rest of us. But your incredible sense of humour, your humaness - those form the bridge that allows ordinary human beings to rub shoulders with you and face their own, smaller situations, encouraged. Thank you for that." Nadia Coetzee : Director: Foreign Qualifications Evaluation and Advisory Services.

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