WATCH: House for quadriplegics in Birchleigh is desperate for donations

July Mathebula (37), Chantell Venter (44) and Wynand Nieuwoudt (39), residents of House Otto, are appealing to residents of Kempton Park to contribute funds needed to keep their home open.

Residents of House Otto in Birchleigh, a self-help centre for quadriplegic and paraplegic people, are in desperate need of donations.

If these residents cannot raise the about R29 000 needed to cover expenses before January 25, the centre will be closed.

Sadly, most of these residents have nowhere else to live. One such resident is chairperson July Mathebula (37), who has been living in House Otto for nine years.

“I have nowhere else to go. I don’t sleep at night. This is the only place I know; this is my home.”

House Otto was established in 1984 when a group of young quadriplegic people were repeatedly denied accommodation due to the severity of their disabilities. After only old age homes accepted them, they decided to create their own lobby group, after which the Quadriplegic Association was born.

Today, House Otto provides residents with the opportunity to further educate themselves through bursaries and workshops. Boarders also gain managerial experience by serving on House Otto’s committees. The residents of this house have become a family, where each person has their own chores to do.

Their important expenses include water, groceries, electricity and staff salaries. The latter is especially important, as members of House Otto need 24-hour care. “They do everything for us because we can’t do it for ourselves,” said Mathebula who is a quadriplegic.

To add to their worries, these residents have no means of transport, after their two buses broke. Marketing manager Wynand Nieuwoudt (39) asks one of the caregivers to push him to the nearest shop when he needs to buy groceries. Nieuwoudt is a paraplegic.

July Mathebula (37)

Centre manager and treasurer Chantell Venter (44) said her parents help where they can with transport, but that this is not a solution to their problem, as her parents are also getting older. Residents would appreciate any help with this issue.

Readers who would like to donate to House Otto’s cause can use the account details below. Venter said people could claim back donations when doing their taxes, as House Otto is a non-profit organisation.

“We always value support and are always here if people would like to see what we do,” she said.

Account name: House Otto Self-Help Centre for Quadriplegics
Account number: 160810327
Account type: ABSA cheque account.

  AUTHOR
Paula-Ann Smit
Journalist

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