Having a wheelchair is critical to the quality of life and inclusion of people with disabilities that affect their mobility. But often, people around the world are unable to afford the wheelchair that they need.
The Wheelchair Foundation estimates that more than 100 million children, teens and adults worldwide need a wheelchair but cannot afford one. The situation is especially critical in developing countries and in countries with buried landmines due to war, including Angola, Afghanistan, Vietnam, Cambodia, Bosnia, Eritrea, Ethiopia, Sierra Leone and Mozambique.
Those countries have extremely high physical disability rates, including 20 percent of Angola’s population of 12 million people, the Foundation said.
The Wheelchair Foundation is a nonprofit organization leading an international effort to deliver hope, mobility and independence to people with physical disabilities; to create awareness, promote giving and create global friendship; and to deliver a wheelchair to every child, teen and adult in the world who needs one, but cannot afford one.
The organization says that because it purchases in large quantities, it can purchase and deliver a manual wheelchair to its worldwide distribution partners for about $150. The wheelchairs are distributed through
a network of Non-Governmental Organizations (NGOs) that have ongoing humanitarian relief missions in the countries.
The Salvation Army, Goodwill Industries, Catholic Charities and other relief organizations distribute wheelchairs to people that need one but cannot afford one in the United States.
The wheelchairs allow children to go to school, adults to go to work, and seniors to rejoin an active place in family life and society.
Our goal is to distribute 1 million wheelchairs in the next 5 years, and to further the awareness that a wheelchair is no longer an unaffordable item for delivery in developing countries throughout the world.
For information about how you or your organization can help sponsor the distribution of wheelchairs to people with disabilities around the world, visit www.wheelchairfoundation.org .