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WIZO wheelchair gives Junior a lift in life



Junior Smith, aged five, of Noupoort in the Northern Cape, was recently donated an Israeli made wheelchair specifically designed for children thanks to WIZO Durban, generous donors and organisers, and an effective social media campaign.

The donation came about after a representative of WIZO Durban had a conversation about philanthropy with a fellow passenger on a flight to Joburg, and discovered a crowdfunding campaign for Smith titled “A Leg Up for Junior”, initiated by Brennan Williams. Smith, who lives in a remote township in the Northern Cape, had tragically lost a limb because another child had put him inside an industrial food mixer. The campaign aimed to raise R270 000 for a series of prosthetic limbs (increasing in size as he grew).

She contacted WIZO Durban co-chairperson Laurienne Baitz, who agreed to offer a WIZO wheelchair to Smith, but it would be difficult to get it to him as he lived a 10-hour road trip away. The chair was located in KwaZulu-Natal, and WIZO Durban’s funds were limited. In response to a request to courier companies to assist, a kind individual named Derek offered to cover the courier costs.

Baitz’s husband took care of the packaging. Two days later, young Junior in Noupoort sported his bright new wheels.

“Let’s hope the crowdfunding campaign succeeds for Junior,” WIZO Durban said. “And in the meantime, we know that this WIZO Wheelchair of Hope will bring mobility and independence to this bright little boy and his loving mum, Natasha Smith.”

Donate to WIZO so that it can procure more wheelchairs and bring more joy into more children’s lives. One wheelchair, including freight, costs only R3 500.

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