Teenager’s joy at wheelchair gift

Public response “overwhelming” for Palesa Kwayiba

Photo of a teenage girl in a wheelchair
Palesa Kwayiba in her new wheelchair with her mother. Photo: Ashraf Hendricks

On a rainy Friday when GroundUp visited 14-year-old Palesa Kwayiba in her mother’s leaking shack, she was all smiles. She had finally received a new wheelchair.

GroundUp told her story in October.

With her overjoyed mother by her side, who apart from the wheelchair, also showed GroundUp food, nappies and clothing donated to her daughter, Kwayiba said she was extremely happy and thankful to the people who had reached out to her daughter.

“I am so happy and did not expect this overwhelming response. When I got a phone call from the people who wanted to bring me the wheelchair, I didn’t think it would actually happen.

“Then after that, I also got calls from people who wanted to bring Palesa clothes and food. Now we at least have things for this festive season. I am beyond grateful,” said Zandile Kwayiba, Palesa’s mother.

The old wheelchair was ruined and almost unusable in the conditions in Barcelona, the informal settlement where Kwayiba lives with her mother and two younger brothers.

“We are finished with school now until next year. So, I am looking forward to the holidays and spending more time with my family. And, I want to say thank you for everything,” said Kwayiba.

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