Bringing Mobility to Haiti Quake Survivors
By Holly Drake
Operation Blessing International
PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti - A simple plastic chair and a set of mountain bike tires doesn’t seem like much, but it’s quickly becoming a miracle chair for disabled Haiti’s quake survivors and hospitals.
After the loss of limbs and other debilitating injuries caused by the January earthquake, many Haitians are in need of wheelchairs.
Some patients in Haiti’s hospitals are ready to be discharged, but can’t be because they have no means of mobility.
Others are still receiving treatment but because the hospital lacks wheelchairs to transport them, they must instead be carried from room to room.
Now, thanks to Operation Blessing’s partnership with Free Wheelchair Mission, many of these earthquake survivors are receiving the gift of mobility.
A shipment of 550 unassembled wheelchairs recently arrived at OBI’s Port-au-Prince warehouse from Free Wheelchair Mission.
The following day, Free Wheelchair Mission volunteers and staff joined the OBI team to assemble and distribute 100 wheelchairs to Port-au-Prince General Hospital and other organizations such as Project Medshare and the Haiti Response Coalition.
The wheelchairs are inexpensively manufactured from premade parts like plastic lawn chairs, mountain bike tires, and foam seat cushions. The chair is designed to be shipped as individual components that can be easily and efficiently packed into standard international shipping containers.
The result is an affordable and easily distributed wheelchair—one that costs just $65 each and changes the lives of disabled men, women, and children around the world.
So far, Operation Blessing and Free Wheelchair Mission have distributed containers of wheelchairs in more than 12 countries, bringing the gift of mobility to thousands of people in places like Haiti, Peru, India, Ukraine, Cambodia, and Laos.
HOW YOU CAN HELP: Be a part of Operation Blessing's efforts to transform the lives of children and adults in Haiti, please make an online contribution and help us continue to reach those in need.
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