Thursday, January 20, 2011

Embracing talents of those less fortunate

For more than a decade, Rotary International has been part of a world-wide effort to distribute wheelchairs to those who don’t have the means to afford them. Rotarians the world over have opened their hearts and checkbooks to provide many unfortunate individuals their first wheelchair.

We now have a fleet of wheelchairs, close to a million of them, which have been distributed and need maintenance or replacement. Depending on the lifestyle of the individual and the environment that individuals traverse, a wheelchair can start needing maintenance in as little as 4 months. Many folks that Rotary has supplied wheelchairs have long since worn out their chair and have gone back to being immobile in their homes.

There is a lot of talent that can be brought back to life if we work to maintain the wheelchairs we distribute and work for find productive paths for the folks we help out.

We have submitted a Rotary grant to set up repair facilities in Rwanda. The Rotarians in Rwanda let us know that there are more than 5000 wheelchairs there that are either in need of repair or worn beyond usability. We are looking forward to this Rotary grant being approved so we can get to work!