Mobility gives children the opportunity to create a bright future. Without mobility, child amputees or children born with limb deficiencies are denied access to the best quality of life. AVIS and Jumping Kids are attempting to change that.
Hlulani Mkhabele, a five-year-old boy from Giyani in Limpopo, will now have access to mobility – and it will enable him to walk for the first time in his life. Jumping Kids, an NPO that provides access to lower-limb prosthesis solutions, fitted Hlulani with a prosthesis after his story went viral on Twitter following a tweet from a community member.
He was born with a birth defect that caused his leg to stop developing just below the knee. He got around by manoeuvring himself on his knees, which caused painful callouses. He had never learnt to walk and he had not gone to school because he couldn’t access the crèche.
Twitter conversations suggested the option of a wheelchair, which Ottobock supplied. Then Jumping Kids became involved, approaching long-time partner AVIS Southern Africa to partner in this project. The young boy was assessed and the solution planned. Avis Rent a Car sponsored a vehicle to transport the child and his family from Giyani to Pretoria.
Following Hlulani’s pre-work, he was fitted with a prosthetic leg. His first steps brought tears of joy to his family and all those present at the fitting. The rehab team then took over to help him practise and help everyone understand how to use and care for the prosthetic leg.
The family will return to Pretoria in a few months for follow-up and maintenance work. Jumping Kids believes that fitting prosthetic solutions is just the start. The NPO provides kids with access to equipment, so they can also access mainstream education and sporting opportunities. Its multidisciplinary, holistic approach helps to facilitate amputee children’s long-term success and integration as valuable members of society.
“Avis Rent a Car is in the business of mobility and we understand how mobility matters to improve one’s quality of life. Being able to assist with transporting the child and his family was a great feeling, as it showed us living our ethos that people are more important than cars,” said Rainer Gottschick, Chief Executive of Avis Southern Africa.
“Hlulani’s story touched our hearts, and Avis will continue to support efforts and organisations such as Jumping Kids that help our children to create a better South Africa,” he said.