Above left: Raymundo, leader of the PROJIMO Duranguito workshop, adjusts a wheelchair that the team made for this boy. Above right: The adjustable table on this wheelchair allows Martha, who has spastic cerebral palsy, to figure out the best position for her computer with her head-stick.
The good news:
Over the last 12 years the team of disabled crafters in the village workshop in PROJIMO Duranguito, Sinaloa, Mexico, has been making individualized wheelchairs for disabled children – designing each chair both to the child’s combination of needs and to his or her local environment. (To see a spectrum of these innovative wheelchairs, click here.)
Thanks to generous support from Stichting Liliane Fonds, a charitable foundation in Holland, the village team has been able to provide these wheelchairs and other assistive equipment to disadvantaged children free or for a small fraction of the costs. And this individualized approach has spread to other programs and countries.
The bad news:
Due to the protracted economic crisis in Europe, Stichting Liliane Fonds, which used to aid disabled children in 80 countries, is cutting back to only 30 countries! … and is pulling out of Mexico. This puts in jeopardy not only the provision of specially-adapted wheelchairs to many children in need, but also the jobs and dignified self-reliance of the disabled craftspersons who make the chairs.
This boy with spina bifida has hip contractures, which a standard wheelchair would make worse. Strapped onto this adjustable, hinged gurney, his contractures can be gradually straightened, so that perhaps someday he can walk with crutches – or, with daily stretching exercises, ride the wheelchair on which the gurney is mounted.
This hand-powered tricycle allows this boy to travel to school over rough roads, more easily and safely than would a standard wheelchair.
The way forward:
Already concerned people in the local area of Mexico, including friends in the nearby city of Mazatlán, are attempting to find sources of funding, be it on a child by child basis.
CAN YOU HELP?
We are also appealing to friends of HealthWrights to help sponsor the cost of an adapted wheelchair or other assistive device for a disabled child (or several, if you can). The cost ranges from USD $250 to $350, depending on its special features. If you are able to help cover the cost for a child – or a part of the cost – please do so.
You can send your gift through PayPal earmarked for “Wheelchair gift for a child”
Or send a check to:
P.O. Box 574
Lincoln, ME 04457 USA
YOUR DONATIONS ARE TAX-DEDUCTIBLE
Thank you so much.
Best wishes for the New Year,
P.S. Read about HealthWrights’ activities and projects in 2015.7