Two Henties Bay residents receive brand new wheelchairs

Two Henties Bay residents, 10-year-old Ester Uiras and George de Klerk (69), each received a brand-new wheelchair on Wednesday this week, thanks to a donation made by Empire Fishing Co. Fisheries Minister Bernhard Esau called on other fishing right holders to follow suit and share their profits.
“I am overjoyed. I am very happy,” said Rebekka Uiras to namib times. She is the mother of Ester Uiras who was born paralyzed from the hip down and is wheelchair bound. Ester is ten years old. An operation was out of the question as there was possibility that she would be left completely paralyzed.
Her spirit is remarkable and smiles a lot. “I like to play with my friends and my brother. And I like to teach my brother how to cook,” the little girl says.
“It is not easy raising three children by myself,” Rebekka Uiras continues. Because of her disability Ester cannot attend school, but that doesn’t stop her from chasing her dreams. While she wishes to become a lawyer, her mother wants her to go into the media industry. “I read the news to her and teach her,” she says.
Since Ester’s birth Rebekka Uiras has struggled to find a wheelchair for her daughter. Previously Ester received old, used wheelchairs. Her first new wheelchair was sponsored by Rebekka’s boss. But that one is now old and broken as well.
The donation was made possible by Bernhard Esau, Minister of Fisheries and Marine Resources.
During the handover Matti Amukwa, Chairperson of the Confederation of Namibian Fishing Associations, said he hosted a Christmas lunch for the elderly and disabled in Henties Bay in December 2016. Esau was also present. “During the event I realised that there are some citizens not benefitting from fruits of independence. I thought to myself the disabled should also benefit of the fruits of our fishing resources,” Esau said.
He instructed Amukwa to look into helping the disabled and Amukwa, in his capacity as Chairperson, approached Empire Fishing Co. who answered the call and bought two wheelchairs.
One beneficiary is Ester Uiras, while the second wheelchair was given to George de Klerk. The 69-year old pensioner suffers from Alzheimer and epilepsy. “Since he had his last epilepsy attack in January he cannot walk anymore. His legs are stiff,” said de Klerk’s granddaughter Catherine. They received an old wheelchair which is now broken. During the event Henties Bay mayor Herman Honeb said that this day marks the beginning of trying to address the needs of special needs people living in Henties Bay.
“We want to organise an association for people with special needs,” he said. Esau called on other fishing right holding companies to follow suit and share their profits with people of the country. “Let us cultivate a culture of sharing,” he said.

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