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Cycling to fund disposable nappies

8 March 2019

Story by Mpho Tjope

This year’s Cape Town Cycle Tour takes place on Sunday, March 10. Among some 35 000 cyclists from around the world will be a 50-year-old paraplegic from Springbok in Northern Cape.

Brunhild Strauss

Formerly known as the Argus Tour, the cycle challenge is the world’s largest individually timed cycle race. Sunday’s 41st edition will be the fifth time that hand cyclist Brunhild Strauss competes in this prestigious competition. However, there is something special about this tour for Strauss, because he will be cycling the 109km course for a cause that is close to his heart.

Strauss is cycling to raise funds for disposable nappies for children and adults with disabilities in the areas around his hometown, Springbok.

“My Broer, I know the pain my people go through,” Strauss says. “I mean I am one of them. I know in rural areas in our towns, unemployment is high and the fact that one can pay R160 for a pack of disposable nappies is really a challenge as not as many can afford many boxes in a month. If you don’t have money, no work, it affects your dignity and you feel like a burden to your family.”

Strauss became a paraplegic in 2005 after a car accident. He has identified a number of homes that have need of donations of nappies, one of which is Huis Emanuel for people with disabilities, in Steinkopl, 42km from Springbok. Huis Emanuel houses over 45 adults and children with disabilities.

He says, “Most people at the homes have little to no control over their bowel movement, and others finish the nappies quickly and use other methods like newspapers. At least when those nappies are there, one can have dignity and not feel too much of a burden to helpers.”

Quinton Adam is assisting Strauss with organising the fundraising initiative and getting ready for the race. He told ThisAbility that, “Many with disabilities, especially in rural areas, have no voice. They are worst affected by poverty and unemployment as they have lack and extra needs, so every little help means the world to them. So I support Brunhild as he could have felt that he needs help himself but instead he is serving the community. And I know he will do us proud as he has been practising and getting ready since last year.”

Others may think that Strauss is in a bad situation, but his heart is overflowing with the spirit of giving. “We can’t sit back or relax because we have disabilities,” he says. “There needs to come a time where we do what we can to assist ourselves and those we care about, so when others join hands, it gets easier.”

Anyone who would like to help Strauss in this initiative can meet him at the finish line of the cycle tour with donations of disposable nappies for children and adults, which will go to these homes that desperately need them.

Those who cannot be at the cycle tour can drop off their donations at any office of the National Council for People with Disabilities (NCPD) around the country. They just need to label the parcels with the “Brunhild Strauss” name, and NCPD will make sure that the donations are delivered to the Northern Cape.

For more information, contact Strauss on 082 306 4634 or by email: brunhild.strauss@gmail.com

 

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