posted Nov 20th
Ever heard of ‘Wheels for the World’? It’s a Christian organization that’s based in the prison system in the USA & that encourages prisoners to give their time to making & recycling wheelchairs. They are then sent all over the developing world to be donated to people in need of them. Fiji has never received a shipment from this organization but, amazingly enough, we had one of these (ex-)prisoners stay with us recently & having been a part of the recycling process, his dream is to see a shipment of wheelchairs come to Fiji.
Putting wheels to this project has been quite a challenge though as although the chairs themselves are donated, the shipping is another story. We’d like to fill up a 40 foot container with 200 wheel-chairs & so have been visiting shipping agencies to get quotations as to how much this would cost. We’ve also been having discussions with the acting director of the Spinal Injury Association in Suva, (see photo), as we would be working closely with them through every stage of the project.
In other news, for Diwali (the Indian festival of light), we visited our handi-capped friend Sanjiv that lives in one of Suva’s ‘settlements’, (unofficial shanty town where those that can’t afford to rent a place, put together their own housing with local materials). Those following our fortnightly blogs may remember that we got him a donated laptop & have continued to help his family for several years now.
Sanjiv wants to stage a major musical concert to raise funds but needs sponsors to get it off the ground. It’s not at all easy to find companies willing to give a large amount of money so it was a great joy for the family when we succeeded in securing a donation of $1000 from one local company – big ‘thank you’ to Vijay Auto Spares! Other requests are still in the pipeline.