(Alberta, Canada) In the fall of this year, Rotarians from Rotary Districts 5360 and 5370 in the heart of Alberta, Canada will travel to Indonesia to participate in a major ground breaking mobility initiative. The multi-faceted project is unique in many aspects thanks to the expertise and determination of many people, particularly Albert Bergsma, a past District Governor and member of the Rotary Club of Rocky Mountain House.
Albert’s Rotary District was chosen to participate in a pilot roll-out of Rotary International’s Future Vision program that will become official on July 1, 2013. He seized this opportunity to apply for funding under the re-designed Rotary Foundation Global Grant program to assist him and fellow Rotarians in realizing their dream of delivering sustainable mobility to Indonesians with the greatest needs. They were also successful in securing District Designated Funds to contribute to the overall costs. The project is being carried out in partnership with clubs in Indonesia’s Rotary District 3410 and includes a number of components.
The total sponsorship is close to $100,000 as a result of the significant collaboration among Rotary clubs, districts and Rotary International, that brought about the project’s evolution. Over 380 wheelchairs will be delivered this fall across Indonesia to those who have no means or access to one, including 120 chairs specifically designed for children.
For the first time in the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation’s ten year history, the wheelchairs will be manufactured in the destination country. The international reach of Rotary was instrumental in the team being able to identify a reliable local manufacturer in Jakarta to produce all of the chairs required, thereby eliminating costly and challenging shipping and importation.
In addition, a portion of the funds are designated for training in partnership with the World Health Organization and United Cerebral Palsy Wheels for Humanity. Local physiotherapists will learn how to better identify spinal chord injury patients who need assistance with managing their mobility aids.
Rotary International recognized that this project addresses many of the six areas of focus that are considered to deliver the most sustainable and successful humanitarian aid for improving the lives of others around the globe. This resulted in the resounding support of the goals of this ambitious project through the approval of Rotary Foundation Global Grant funding.
The Canadian Wheelchair Foundation is an independent Canadian registered charity with the goal to deliver brand new, free wheelchairs to persons with physical disabilities throughout the world who are without mobility or the means to acquire a wheelchair. With a strong focus on developing and newly industrialized states, the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation continues to change the lives of people and communities with a gift that extends hope, dignity, opportunity and independence to all.