Friday, September 20, 2013

HAITI :: Shifting the paradigm from immobility to mobility

TRTP President, Kathy, showing off one of our ATWs

Independence is a precious gift, especially to people with disabilities. 

Each time The Red Thread Promise gives an All Terrain Wheelchair (ATW) to an impoverished child, teen or adult in Haiti, we shift the paradigm from immobility toward mobility. Through these gifts—gifts that you have made possible—lives are being changed. 

In the US and other countries, many resources are available for people who can't walk:
  • quality medical care and treatment
  • insurance policies and governmental programs to offset costs 
  • readily available manual wheelchairs
  • wheelchair-accessible vehicles and public transportation
  • facilities with wide doors, railings, ramps and elevators
  • solid infrastructure with smooth streets and sidewalks 
These opportunities give a wheelchair-bound person the chance to actively engage in life, moving about in their homes, schools and communities.

The scenario is quite different for a person under the same circumstances in a developing country like Haiti:
  • limited quality medical care is extremely costly with no subsidy 
  • lack of infrastructure—dirt roads, sand, rocky surfaces—makes passage in a standard wheelchair nearly impossible
  • wheelchairs that perform well on rough terrain are financially out of reach for most Haitians, often costing upwards of 6 years wages* 
But there is hope! 

We are committed to raising the funds for another full container of wheelchairs that will change more lives. Each shipment holds 100 - 120 ATWs plus maintenance parts. These durable wheelchairs are made from inexpensive bicycle parts that keep the cost low—$350 each—and simplify upkeep and maintenance. They are specifically designed to pass over Haiti's rough terrain, giving independence that most recipients have never experienced.

With your support, we will fill this container and continue giving the gift of mobility to those in need. Donations can be made through our website. Thank you!

*The gross national income per capita in Haiti is US$660. Source: World Bank 2010

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