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Thursday, November 8, 2012

Wheelchair donation

Having a disability from birth can be a terrible burden for a child and the parents. A poor child in a remote area of a poor country like Nicaragua, faces an even more difficult life than someone in a wealthy country. This poor boy, named Pablo, suffers from hydrocephalus. He has lots of problems with his body, and his parents are very poor farmers in a rural area.
Pablo gets seated into his new chair. Photo by Steven Allday.
As if paralysis and poverty weren't enough, he lives where only a four-wheel drive vehicle can reach. He had no wheelchair, so transporting him even to doctors and physical therapy was costly and a logistical nightmare. Somehow he must not know the heartbreak people feel when they see him, though, because he seemed generally happy, even though his horizons were not distant.
Pablo is finally buckled into his new chair. Photo by Steven Allday.
The folks at Campbell Street Church of Christ in Jackson, Tennessee, have been arranging wheelchair donations in Nicaragua for a long time. They even retrofit wheelchairs with seats for children. Pablo was so fortunate, because we at FUNDECI/GAIA had been holding one of the wheelchairs from the church, looking for a fitting beneficiary. His parents asked, and we took the chair out to his home to see if it fit.
children in Nicaragua
Pablo waves and shows delight in his new wheels. Photo by Steven Allday.
This little boy had to tolerate some five minutes of strap adjustments as many hands pulled and experimented with all the buckles and ties. Eventually, he was in and secure. His mother began to move him round the yard, and his expression showed a real happiness. He could sense a liberation that this new (to him) chair has brought him.
Campbell Street Church of Christ
Pablo's mother is so happy to have a wheelchair for Pablo! Photo by Steven Allday.
Pablo and his brother went round the yard, under the shade of a large fig tree. It surely felt to him like a fairground ride would feel: something new and sensational. His eyes glowed!
children in Nicaragua
Pablo poses in his new wheelchair. Photo by Steven Allday.
We want to thank all the people involved with the wheelchair donation at Campbell Street Church of Christ! This may have seemed like a very small gesture by someone in the USA, but it means a world of difference to a young, disabled child in Nicaragua.
Would you like to be involved in making Nicaragua a better place for all? We receive volunteers to work on several projects related to social issues and then environment. And there are projects dealing with persons with disabilities, too. Please contact us for more information.
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