As part of their commitment to raise awareness of disability rights and ensuring an inclusive society for all, Marisa Nel & Associates and Current Consulting founded an awareness mechanism in 2017.
The We Can Run event has invited people with physical disabilities over the last three years to participate in a fun 4km walk along the wheelchair friendly orient beachfront where volunteers push the wheelchairs, or support the participants to ensure they have a fabulous day out.
“As an avid runner, I can’t think of a better way to share my joy of running by using my passion to aid the community of East London to break down the barriers and open doors for those with disabilities, thus ensuring an inclusive society” said Bonnie.
In 2016, Marissa Nel heard about the plight of a double amputee child and immediately jumped into action to source sponsorship to provide this charismatic boy a set of prosthetic legs. At the hand over attended by the Department of Health, sponsors, and media there was not a dry eye as the little energetic boy ran to kick a ball with his new legs.
This momentous occasion sparked an idea, that we could bring the same joy to so many disabled people by giving them the opportunity to be mobile and so the We Can Run even was born.
“We felt the event would give us a platform to create disability awareness and showcase the opportunity to remove barriers and attempt to improve the quality of life to the disabled community through concrete action” said Marissa.
2020 was to be the 4th and biggest year of the We Can Run event, but due to the COVID-19 pandemic our plans had to be adjusted. We did not want to cancel the initiative in its entirety as we did not want to lose the momentum in the awareness the event raises year on year. We therefore elected to sponsor two identified projects.
Marissa who donated 15 walkers to the Physiotherapy Department at the Frere Hospital believes people with physical disabilities deserve the chance to build a life for themselves, they deserve to have the appropriate mobility devices to enable them to move around and participate in activities within their communities and live independently.
“We are so grateful for the sponsorship; it makes a huge difference to each patient that is able to go home with an assistive device that brings them independence. We truly value our relationship with Marissa Nel & Associates, and we look forward to working together in the future to strengthen the relationship between the private and public sector” said Sid Govender; Acting Assistant Director of Physiotherapy at Frere Hospital.
The teams visited The Canaan Centre on the 18th September with their bright yellow We Can Run t-shirts and treats to bring joy to the 55 children with disabilities cared for by the Centre. The sponsoring teams also braaied for the 50 Carers of the Centre to thank them for the selfless work they do for these children, who entertained us with the trending Jerusalema Dance. Marissa closed the event with a R50 000 donation in orthotic items required for the children.
We hope to bring the disabled community and their supporters together once again for a fun run in 2021 where our event slogan of #LifeWithoutLimitations will ring true.