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Stair lift installed at centre where Mandela was patron

20th December 2013

This news article is from Handicare UK. Articles that appear on this website are for information purposes only.

Memories and tributes to Nelson Mandela have been flooding in to newspapers across the globe following his sad passing earlier this month. One such reflection came from the town of Alexandra in South Africa, where a local centre that Mandela was patron of installed a stairlift especially for the former leader.

The Afrika Tikkun centre in Alexandra is an important community centre, offering services to parents with children, teenagers and older people. Nelson Mandela was a patron of the centre and had promised to visit despite feeling quite weak because of illness, and the people of Alexandra and staff at the community centre were looking forward to his visit very much. Mandela loved the centre and he valued the help it still gives to the local community, which is why a visit to the Afrika Tikkun centre was so important to him.

The centre arranged for a stair lift solution to be installed just last year to help Mandela get upstairs and see all of it, but sadly his health never recovered enough to allow him to visit. Although he will not get to use it, the people who use the Afrika Tikkun centre and have mobility difficulties will get great use out of it. The Afrika Tikkun centre runs pre-school classes, homework clubs, offers support for teenagers and a place for older people to meet with others and enjoy a good meal, so there are plenty of people who are sure to find the stairlift helpful.

Anne Kanuiki, a helper at the centre, showed journalists from The Guardian around the Afrika Tikkun centre, including the stairlift they had installed for Mandela. She spoke fondly of him and said that “without him we would not have this place or the schools that these children are moving on to”. He has made a great difference to this community and will always be present in their lives, one way or another.

Image Credit: Ted Eytan (flickr.com)