Making the love of the great outdoors accessible for Persons living with Disabilities

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South Africa’s North star is and will always be an inclusive and equal country for all who live in it. Key to the realization of this goal are Government, Business and Civil society who dedicate their resources and time into bringing everyone to the table. Among these facets of society are our brothers and sisters living with disabilities who’ve been on the negative end of the stick as far as inclusivity is concerned. Though measures and reforms have been put in place to accommodate them, there remains a great need to tighten up our collective grip to make their integration and lifestyle in society seamless.

 

The National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) in partnership with the Clarens Village Conservancy have built an accessible hiking trail in Clarens, Free State province to accommodate persons living with disabilities. This comes after a growing demand for wheelchair-friendly trails in South Africa subsequent to the love of the great outdoors by South Africans. The Clarens Village Conservancy, Hiking and wheelchair-friendly trail will give equal access to the environment for individuals with disabilities so that they too, get to enjoy the beauty and splendour of nature.

 

This wouldn’t be possible without the overwhelming support of 560 South Africans who came together to raise funds through the Titanic Challenge Trail Run that was held at the conservancy in September of 2022. Exactly a year later, we get to witness the power of uniting for a just cause and the realisation of what was once a dream. It is well known that travel enthusiasts from all around the world love South Africa for its breathtaking natural landscapes. It brings us great joy that individuals living with disabilities will now get to enjoy what seemed to be a far-fetched dream with the rest of the world. Visitors at the Clarens Village Conservancy will get the opportunity to explore the popular Kloof and Titanic trails which are among the 12 hiking trails that have stunning views in the area.

 

The official opening of The Clarens Village Conservancy, Hiking and wheelchair-friendly trail took take place on 16 September 2023 through a programme of exciting activities attended by the community and stakeholders who are actively participating in improving the quality of life for persons livng with disabilities. 

 

As a partner of the NCPD since 2021, Brand South Africa promotes initiatives that foster inclusivity and social cohesion. For us, disability inclusion means understanding the relationship between the way people function and how they participate in society, and making sure everybody has the same opportunities to participate in every aspect of life to the best of their abilities and desires. We would therefore like to call on all South Africans to continue striving for an equitable society where the human rights of all are upheld and protected.