Golden Valley recently played host to amputee, adventurer and founder of the Paul Steyn Foundation, Paul Steyn when he stopped in Worcester on his challenging 7 000km trek across South Africa’s nine provinces. His two day stay at Golden Valley marked the 6 500km point in the journey which began in August 2015.
“We were thrilled to sponsor Steyn during his time in Worcester. He is the epitome of strength, determination and bravery in the face of adversity. He is indeed a great inspiration to all who meet him. We wish him well on the last stretch of his journey to raise awareness and funds for amputees so that they can have access to prosthesis,” says Golden Valley’s General Manager, Keenan Bergins.
Steyn spent two nights in Worcester in August last year with still many kilometers to go. He has so far spent 15 months on the road and has walked more than 6 500km through the Western and Eastern Cape, Kwa Zulu-Natal, the Free State, Mpumalanga, Limpopo, Gauteng, North West and the Northern Cape.
From Worcester he continues to Rawsonville, Wellington, Paarl, Stellenbosch, Somerset West, Macassar, Muizenberg and through the Southern Suburbs to finish at Green Point Stadium on 2 December 2016. Along the way he will visit schools, churches and other community organizations to give motivational talks and raise awareness of the plight of amputees.“Prostheses are expensive and unfortunately government programmes to assist amputees in this regard are hopelessly inadequate. This is mainly because of budget constraints. Medical aids will spend literally millions of rand to prevent amputation, but once a person loses a limb, most regard prosthesis as a cosmetic luxury and their funds available to amputees are mostly inadequate for quality prosthetics,” says Steyn.
Steyn has faced enormous adversity in life, but this has not stopped him from doing great things. At the fragile age of 13, Steyn lost his right leg in an accident. The years that followed was everything but easy, from his parents’ divorce, to ending up in a children’s home. Having only one leg made this even more difficult.
“If there is one thing I have learnt is that you should never give up and that an amputee can live a full meaningful life.” says Steyn.
In 2012 he started the Paul Steyn Foundation that helps underprivileged amputees to get prosthesis. The Paul Steyn Foundation is a registered non-profit organization with the main purpose of raising funds to assist deserving disadvantaged amputees to acquire prosthetic limbs. Since its inception in 2012, the Paul Steyn Foundation has been able to assist 16 amputees with prosthetic legs at a cost of R60 000 per limb on average. Steyn generates funding through his epic tours through the country. Six amputees have been assisted so far during the current walk. The Paul Steyn Foundation has a database of more than a hundred amputees who have approached the foundation for assistance. The foundation is solely reliant on the goodwill of individual and small business donors for its finances and only three people can be assisted on average annually. During his walks, he also tries to demonstrate to the public as well as amputees, the difference a prosthetic leg can make to the quality of life of amputees.
Paul’s progress can be followed on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube as well as on the foundation’s website and blog, links below.