Wheelchairs for Kids is a Perth based organisation that is the initiative of Rotary Club of Scarborough (Perth) supported by the Christian Brothers.
Over the past early 20 years Wheelchairs for Kids has distributed over 30,000 pediatric chairs to children in Asia and Africa.
From a simple beginning in 1998, the volunteer work force has grown to more than 100, mostly retired people.
The volunteers manufacture the chairs and load the boxes into sea containers; other volunteers make cushion covers, rugs and knitted toys to accompany the chair.
Fergal and Marg have had previous contact with Wheelchairs for Kids (in Uganda) and after observing there was a need in Chikombedzi during their 2012 visit to LCV, contacted Rotary in Perth who willingly donated 20 chairs.
Toll then donated the costs of transporting the chairs to Sydney, where they were loaded into one of our containers and delivered to Zimbabwe.
During their 2014 visit, Marg and Fergal in collaboration with Mr Baloyi, the rehabilitation and disability officer at the Free Methodist Mission Chikombedzi Hospital, identified those most in need and distributed and fitted the chairs.
All 20 chairs were assembled and given to children (and a couple of adults) in the wider Chikombedzi area.
All of the recipients were severely disabled and lived in very remote and isolated subsistence farming communities.
The chairs were very well received – the parents and children were delighted.
The toys and blankets were a nice touch! The chairs are very robust and designed for remote bush settings.
The children were quite obviously loved and looked after by their very poor parents and extended families.
Considering the endemic poverty and the difficulties families face, it was lovely to see this commitment to the children.
For most, for the first time in their lives, they mothers and children had some mobility – the child could, if able, attend school now and could also accompany his or her mother to the fields, a daily task.
Our heartfelt thanks to Gordon, Ollie and the Rotary volunteers at Scarborough in Perth.
‘Container 15’ AFADU was sent to Zimbabwe in 2013… and despite improvements in the availability of locally sourced supplies still made a big difference on the ground.
Despite all challenges and logistics of getting it there!
Sheets for the hospital, curtains for hospital beds, uniforms and donated secondhand health equipment helped refresh the hospital.
The wheelchairs for kids and hospital supplies all got there safe and sound.
Thanks to Ian, Fribi (South Africa) and all those who helped and donated!
Ezelle sums it up best …
Thanks for all your efforts with the container! It is finally here and we off-loaded it safely. Denny was vital in helping with the practical side of getting chains and ropes set up together with Ludwig. We were very careful not to damage the truck so the trucking company should be happy with us. The weather played along, we had fair weather after rains last weekend. Wendy is very happy with how it all ended up and Alison is happy about all the stuff she had on the wish lists for the clinics.”
To ensure a high standard of nursing care and a ready supply of nurses to the remote Chikombedzi Mission Hospital the hospital board decided to reopen the School of Nursing which had been closed for many years.
With the help of our generous supporters and fund raising efforts, AFADU and individual sponsors have helped to refurbish a building, consisting of offices, a library, a lecture room and a room for practical training that will now be used as a Health education centre to provide continuing education development and training for health workers in the region.
Raising the standard of health care and improving outcomes for patients has been a long term objective of AFADU. AFADU has also focused on the creation of job opportunities for school leavers, including our own children at the Lirhanzo Children’s Village.
The project for a Nursing School was born.
With the help of in-country support an old building within the Hospital Grounds was chosen for renovation and in 2008 a long term supporter of AFADU and Qantas Captain, Margret Conway donated $2000 to start the ball rolling.
By September 2009 the School was beginning to take shape and the old building had been expanded to include a toilet block, office, library, demonstration room and lecture theatre. A large amount of support from generous donors has added to Margret Conway’s initial donation
All projects have challenges and The School of Nursing had many.
Fires in the hospital grounds, changing requirements and standards and loss of coordination staff have all contributed to delays.
But that’s the life of development in Africa… and so a rethink was in order…
After discussions with the Chikombedzi Hospital administration it was decided that the “School of Nursing” would become the brand new “Chikombedzi Hospital Education Centre”. On Thursday 24 April 2014 we had an official handover of the “Education Centre” occurred.
The main lecture room is being used by traditional health workers for an educational meeting related to the distribution of rota virus and HPV immunisations.
Student nurses on rural placement will enjoy the facility as well as many workshop participants from rural health centres. The centre is also being used by hospital staff for in-service training.
The dream although only partially accomplished, has fulfilled many of the goals AFADU set out to achieve. The Centre is being used for education and training and as a resource centre and standards of care will rise as more courses are held in the new facility.
The project could not have been completed without all the support of the many who helped organise the fundraisers in Darwin, Hamilton Island, Sydney and Airlie Beach and especially to those who came, opened their hearts to this unique and deserving part of Africa by attending, having a ball in the process and helping us to raise the money necessary.