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Avis Rent a Car and Jumping Kids gives little boy the gift of mobility

Mobility gives children the ability to forge a bright future. Without access to mobility, child amputees or children born with limb deficiencies are denied access to the best quality of life.

However, Hlulani Mkhabele, a five-year-old boy from Giyani in Limpopo, will now have the chance at mobility and having walked for the first time in his life. Jumping Kids made this happen, when they recently fitted him with a prosthetic leg. Jumping Kids is a registered NPO, which provides access to lower limb prosthetic solutions to those who need it most, children from previously disadvantaged backgrounds living with amputations.

Hlulani’s story caused a Twitter storm when women from his community posted his story with a plea to help in on the social media platform. The little boy’s story was heart-wrenching. He was born with a birth defect, which caused his leg to stop developing just below the knee. He got around by manoeuvring himself on his knees. As a result, he developed painful callouses. He had never walked because he didn’t have the resources and services to help him. He had not gone to school because he could not access the creche.

Twitter conversations suggested a wheelchair as a solution and this was supplied by Ottobock, however it was unclear if the child had been helped with a prosthetic solution as. When Jumping Kids investigated they found that nothing had yet been done to find a prosthetic solution to help the little boy.

Jumping Kids acted immediately and approached long time partner Avis Southern Africa to partner in this project. The young man was assessed and the solution planned. Avis Rent a Car sponsored a vehicle to transport the child and his family from Giyani to Pretoria. Following the child’s pre-work, he was fitted with a prosthetic leg. Having never walked previously, his first steps brought tears of joy to his family and all those present at the fitment. The rehab team then took over to help him practice and help everyone understand how to use and care for the prosthetic. The family will return to Pretoria in 3-6 months for follow up and maintenance work.

Jumping Kids’ believes that fitting prosthetic solutions is just the start. The NPO provides kids with access to equipment, so they have the mobility to access mainstream education and sporting opportunities. It’s multi-disciplinary, holistic approach helps to facilitate amputee children’s long-term success and integration as valuable members of society.
“Avis Rent a Car is in the business of mobility and we understand how mobility matters to improve one’s quality of life. Being able to assist with transporting the child and his family was a great feeling because it showed us living our ethos that people are more important than cars. His story touched our hearts, and Avis will continue to support efforts and organizations such as Jumping Kids, that help our children to create better South Africa.” Adds, Rainer Gottschick, Chief Executive of Avis Southern Africa