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Fun, funky and functional – designs for life Shona McDonald isn’t the kind of person to let tragic personal experience leave her moping – rather, she’s the kind of go-getter who turns it into a triumph, for her and for her clients. When Shona’s daughter was injured at birth and diagnosed with severe cerebral palsy, she committed to a business, Shonaquip, which ensures that disabled children and youths in under-developed regions receive the same opportunities as their contemporaries. Shona explains that her daughter remains her motivation and continues to reinforce her commitment to ensuring that more children are able to receive the correct mobility and assistive devices to improve their functionality and quality of life. This is achieved, she explains, by increasing the availability and access to appropriate, well-fitting mobility and posture support products, support services and training. This, in turn, addresses inequality, enhances human capability, improves the function of individuals and empowers their families and communities. Shonaquip was founded in 1992 and since that time has been focused on influencing-long term, sustainable change in the disability sector. Today, she says, children with mobility disabilities are provided with funky, fun equipment, together with personal, professional and affordable assistance that is unique to their needs and positively impacts their quality of life. Moreover, it affords them the opportunity to achieve their full potential. She remains ambitious, however, pointing out that her goal is to manufacture another 12 000 mobility devices, train 3 000 therapists and provide support and training for 64 000 associated caregivers and family members. In addition, the company wants to build partnerships to support export to developed markets and set up regional assembly and support hubs in Namibia and Botswana – quite a schedule for the next three years!

On-air Interview