Vancouver/Istanbul – The Canadian Wheelchair Foundation (CWF) today announced a project to deliver mobility to Syrian and non-Syrian refugees with physical disabilities. Persons with disabilities are often disproportionately affected by crisis. The Foundation has launched a fundraising campaign to sponsor wheelchairs, canes, crutches and walkers to be sent to Turkey.
Currently, Turkey is host to 2.7 million registered Syrian refugees and 260,000 refugees and asylum seekers from other countries. A dialogue with the United Nations Refugee Agency UNHCR in Ankara has made clear: the greatest challenge is meeting the needs of the 90% of refugees who live outside the refugee camps.
In an interview, CWF Executive Director Christiana Flessner stated, “We are so pleased to extend our programming to Turkey. Every day we see the impact of the gift of mobility in our work. A wheelchair brings independence, dignity, hope and opportunity to whole families. Suddenly a child can attend school, a parent can return to work … caregivers can re-enter society.” CWF’s wheelchairs are designed especially for rougher terrain of developing countries.
The majority of persons with disabilities reside in developing countries and live in moderate to extreme poverty. An estimated 100 million people worldwide need a wheelchair but cannot afford one. Ongoing conflict and civil war have increased disability rates to as much as 20% of the population in some countries. Last month the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation endorsed the Charter on Inclusion of Persons with Disabilities in Humanitarian Action.
Join the Canadian Wheelchair Foundation this World Refugee Day to celebrate our common humanity and open your hearts to refugees everywhere. Recall the strength, courage, and determination of those that have needed to flee their homes in search of a safer life and better opportunities for their families.
UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon: “refugees are people like you and me. They led ordinary lives before becoming displaced, and their biggest dream is to be able to live normally again.”The Canadian Wheelchair Foundation is a well-established, independent Canadian charity whose mission it is to provide a wheelchair to every person who needs one, but has no means to acquire one. It works with individual donors and corporations as well as partners like Rotary Clubs, schools, and religious organisations to sponsor mobility aids. Since its inception in 2003, the CWF has delivered over 39,000 wheelchairs in 41 countries worldwide.
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