In 2020 we all had to adapt. The COVID-19 coronavirus pandemic, with its subsequent lockdown restrictions, brought things to a sudden halt for all of us last year.
At Jumping Kids, we were chasing big goals. Then everything changed.
When you live with a disability, you are used to change. Chances are that you have had to learn to adapt to an environment that is not necessarily that easy to navigate when living with a physical challenge like amputation.
So that is what we did to keep going, we drew on what we knew and we adapted!
With the support from our funders, we found ways to still provide the services required to uphold the three pillars that our organization is built on – access to mobility, education and sport.
Jumping Kids Prosthetic Fund specializes in the supply and maintenance of prosthetic equipment for children living with lower limb amputation. The majority of our beneficiaries come from previously disadvantaged communities.
During lockdown, beneficiaries from outside Gauteng, requiring routine prosthetic maintenance work, could not make to us because of travel restrictions. We adapted by making sure that we could get to them!
Jumping Kids travelled to Limpopo Province and Mpumalanga to assist beneficiaries from the area with their equipment maintenance needs.
In a time filled with many additional challenges, we distributing food parcels to the families of all the beneficiaries we saw on the trip, as well as to those who made the journey to us, to help see them through.
We believe access to prosthetic equipment should translate into access to quality education.
At the start of 2020, Jumping Kids embarked on a ‘bursary challenge’ with the goal to get as many Jumping Kids beneficiaries as possible into the mainstream school environment.
We assist Jumping Kids gain access to mainstream education by dealing with the schools’ and the parents’ concerns, and facilitating financial support for fees wherever possible. We are proud to announce that four of our Jumping Kids were accepted to top schools in Pretoria for Grade 8 in 2021.
Thanks to the continued support of our funders, we are proud of being able to assist 21 Jumping Kids beneficiaries with educational bursaries during 2020!
With the necessary prosthetic equipment in place, beneficiaries are encouraged to get involved and participate in sport.
Sport has the power to unite. Apart from its obvious rehabilitative benefits for young prosthetic device users, sport offers opportunities to be part of a team, to push physical boundaries, and to get active.
The year 2020 was not a year for sport.
The postponement of the sports calendar, including the Tokyo 2020 Paralympic Games, was a big disappointment for our beneficiaries, and a number of our Fund ambassadors hoping to represent South Africa at the Games.
Once lockdown restrictions eased towards the end of the year, we were able to send a group of beneficiaries to participate in the Free State Para athletics Championships that took place in Bloemfontein.
The five kids selected; all bilateral lower limb amputees using sets of prosthetic running blade equipment to participate; had the opportunity to run in the 100m and 200m ‘showcase races’ for a taste of track and field athletics.
Tired, but showing huge smiles after each of the races, it was a great way to celebrate an ease in the restrictions, and a return to sport.
Centre of Excellence
We are grateful to our funders for the opportunity to keep-up our work during, what continues to be, a challenging time.
As many plans, our Mobility Centre of Excellence; an initiative to provide better access to mobility devices for all amputees; also had to wait.
Envisaged as a vehicle to provide quality, affordable prosthetic equipment for South Africans of all ages, the Jumping Kids Mobility Centre of Excellence aims to train local technicians, provide collaborative opportunities, and address the growing need for quality prosthetics at affordable prices locally.
“Although 2020 was a challenge, we are incredibly proud of what our team was able to do, and the way in which our beneficiaries and their families took on the challenge,” says Jumping Kids Director, Michael Stevens.
“This year, we are moving ahead with plans to launch our Mobility Centre of Excellence; an exciting step closer to our vision of providing access to quality prosthetic equipment to more lower limb amputees, ” he concludes.