Help give Auas Hills a lift

10 October 2019 | Social Issues

Tanja Bause
Residents of the Auas Hills retirement home have rolled up their sleeves in a bid to collect money to have an elevator installed there for their use.
“We desperately need a lift so that elderly living in one block can reach the community hall, while those living in the other three blocks can reach the library, hair salon, pharmacy and restaurant,” says Trix Cilliers (65) of the home’s social committee members. “There are 25 steps that need to be climbed to reach these facilities. Every Sunday, a church service is held in the community hall and some of our residents cannot attend because they find it impossible to move around.”
The three blocks consist of 144 single and double rooms and the communal block consists of 118 rooms.
In February 2017 “Project Elevator” was launched by the Social Committee and by February 2019, N$135 000 had been raised.
The social committee added N$5 000, bringing the total N$140 000.
In a bid to raise more money, another committee member, Elsabe Steenkamp (68), said that they sold pancakes and arranged market days.
“We did everything possible to raise money, but when I saw that we had only N$140 000 in the kitty after three years, I realized it would take too long to raise the necessary N$600 000 that the lift costs,” Cilliers said.
In this light, the committee decided to contact Pupkewitz Haval to host a lucky draw in which a vehicle could be won. “They were very helpful and sold us a vehicle and donated the tickets. After paying off the vehicle, Project Elevator now stands at N$240 000,” she said. “We can sit around and point fingers and complain that we do not have access to facilities, or we can try to remedy the situation.”
However, in spite of their hard work, the committee still needs help.
“We still need a lot of money and we will continue working towards our goal, but in the meantime we are growing older,” 81-year-old Herman Steyn said.
Resident can reach the facilities in question, but are at risk of falling because the route has a steep driveway, so especially those in wheelchairs or with walking frames are struggling.
“I can ride around with my wheelchair, but it’s very steep and I’m afraid of falling, especially after one of the older ladies fell here recently. Now, like many of the other elderly, I simply stay in my room. I miss socializing and going to church and if no one visits me, I am lonely,” Nico Koen (62) said.
“We really did our best to raise money ourselves. Some of our social committee members get up in the morning before dawn to make pancake dough, then they stand all day and bake – just to raise money. Our elderly will be very grateful for any contribution from those who can and would like to help,” Steenkamp concluded. – [email protected]

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