The Bags of Hope project was launched in September 2003 as a joint venture between Coloplast and the QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) to supply persons with a spinal cord injury (SCI), and their families, with the information to cope with the lifestyle change. It aims to help them understand their rights as a person with a disability and to return to an independent and functional life.
It also provides a platform for building and managing a database of persons with SCI in South Africa to better understand their needs and develop means of servicing these needs. Each person with a recent SCI will receive a Bag of Hope backpack filled with products and information relevant to SCI when they are discharged from rehabilitation.
Why Bags of Hope?
When somebody sustains a SCI, they need anything from three months to a few years of rehabilitation in a hospital before they are ready to go back into normal life. This rehabilitation will teach the person how to manage the physical aspects of their disability, such as bladder and bowel function, the use of a wheelchair and other assistive devices, and pressure care, as well as providing resources to address issues such as independent living, employment and sexual options.
Once people leave a rehabilitation centre, they often have no further resources to assist them to cope with the changes in their lives. The Bags of Hope project contains samples of the healthcare products needed to manage quadriplegia or paraplegia, such as catheters.
It also contains information on the consequences, coping with mobility impairment, sexuality and sexual options after SCI, and the rights of people with disabilities. Some publications are also available in isiZulu and in a pictorial format for people who cannot read.
What is a Bag of Hope?
The Bag of Hope covers a range of subjects to help people with SCI live with their disability and understand the challenges and opportunities they now face. It provides them with the tools to help make informed decisions about how to maximise their quality of life.
The bag contains the following selection of valuable information to assist new SCI persons:
- Spinal Cord Injury Booklet from QASA;
- A ROLLING INSPIRATION lifestyle magazine for people with mobility impairments;
- Know Your Rights legislation information regarding disabilities;
- Sexuality after SCI information;
- You and Your Grants information;
- Product information and samples for bladder management.
Through this partnership between QASA and Coloplast, more than 3 000 people with SCI have been reached over the last 14 years. For further information please contact Coloplast CARE via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0861 612 273.