Wheelchairs for kids
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.
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