How It Began

The History from February 2010

Driving Ambitions is a project of the QuadPara Association of South Africa (QASA) and arose out of a scenario in the offices of Primedia, to culminate in the adoption and launch of the project by QASA. This story needs to be told and remembered.

In February 2010, Sarah Nkgeng, a young paraplegic, who works for Primedia got her drivers license, after a long and hard route and her email below to the staff of Primedia, was sent on to Wayne Duvenage at AVIS and so the engagement with QASA started.

Sarah”The process of getting my drivers licence wasn’t easy at all, four of my learners licences expired while I was trying to get a driving school that will accommodate me because I needed to do my lessons with a specialised automatic hand control car.

My recent experience when I went to write my final learners wasn’t very pleasant, because I went through a lot of pain and humiliation that day and even had to call Eyewitness News to come and intervene and help me get to write and be treated as a human being because I was discriminated against and judged because I’m physically challenged.

I was questioned as to why I would want to write my learners because people like me are not able to drive and will never drive and from that day on I was determined to prove the world wrong and make my dream come true, I guess that is what kept me going and I just kept telling myself I have to get my licence because I knew it will make my life better, I will be able to be more independent and not be limited to where I go.

I still can’t believe I made it and I’m just over the moon.

Sarah.”

Below is the email trail which shows how the project started and quickly developed into a meeting with stakeholders and role players.

The first email below carried the story written by Sarah above.

From: Simon Gear [mailto:SimonG@primedia.co.za]
Sent: 04 February 2010 15:10
To: Wayne Duvenage
Subject: FW: Congratulations to Sarah
Hey Wayne,
So I’m thinking. This story below has already had a conclusion but there must be a gap here for your guys to do some outreach for handicapped people wanting to learn to drive with your outfitted cars? That has good news stamped all over it.
Cheers,
Simon

From: Wayne Duvenage [mailto:WayneD@avis.co.za]
Sent: 04 February 2010 03:14 PM
To: Simon Gear
Subject: RE: Congratulations to Sarah
Hi Simon
Thank you for this input. Great idea – I will certainly put this into our “innovation” tank and I’m sure we will launch something here.
Regards
Wayne Duvenage
Chief Executive
AVIS Rent A Car, South Africa
Registered Financial Services Provider

Tel : 011 923 3416
Fax: 011 923 3505
E-mail : wayned@avis.co.za

At AVIS People will always be More Important than Cars
From: Simon Gear [mailto:SimonG@primedia.co.za]
Sent: 04 February 2010 15:37
To: Wayne Duvenage
Subject: RE: Congratulations to Sarah

I’ve thought about this some more. It will probably be overwhelming to open this to everyone in a wheelchair but most corporates I know have wheelchair bound people manning their switchboards. Why not make it a feel good partnership with existing corporate clients or a juicy fruit for new clients to offer x number of training programs for their disabled staff at a reduced rate? You get those cars off your lot and earning and everyone wins.
Simon Gear
Environmental correspondent
Primedia
0828214975
From: Wayne Duvenage [mailto:WayneD@avis.co.za]
Sent: 04 February 2010 04:29 PM
To: Simon Gear
Subject: RE: Congratulations to Sarah

Hi Simon
Since my last mail, I have been in touch with Eugene Herbert of Master Drive and briefly bounced off him the idea (sparked by your input) of a permanent sponsored Paraplegic Driving School. He is also excited by the idea and is keen to participate. We will be meeting with Ari Searlis (Chairperson of the SA Quad-Para Association) within the next two weeks to brainstorm this idea and make it a reality. Avis will provide the vehicles for free to the school and we hope to develop a national “gift” to the paraplegic community in this regard. I will keep you posted and if you wish to get involved, this will be great. A lovely idea, which I would like us to keep under wraps for now, until we piece the plan together and launch – with people like you.
Stay well
Wayne Duvenage
Chief Executive
AVIS Rent A Car, South Africa

From: Simon Gear [mailto:SimonG@primedia.co.za]
Sent: 04 February 2010 05:24 PM
To: Wayne Duvenage
Subject: RE: Congratulations to Sarah

Flip, that was quick. Well done. Anything I can do on my side, just let me know.
Simon Gear
Environmental correspondent
Primedia
0828214975

Wayne Duvenage, pulled together a team of the relevant stakeholders and role players and the project DRIVING AMBITIONS was born.

QASA has taken ownership of this project and the stakeholder group presently consists of:
Caroline Rule, a specialist Occupational Therapist who leads in this sector with her consultancy Rolling Rehab.

Wayne Duvenage and Jessica Branco and their team from AVIS with their contribution of vehicles and management expertise.

The first vehicle deployed to the project, Jessica handing the keys over to Caroline October 2010

Eugene Herbert from MASTERDRIVE who will contribute to the safety element of the project.
Barloworld are the first corporate sponsor/donor to the project.
Rolling Inspiration will act as a media partner for the project.