Tuesday, November 28, 2017

The Perfect Gift - a Wheelchair for a Moroccan Child

This festive season why not help change a child's life? The gift of a wheelchair, or a donation towards one, will make a profound difference, not only to the child but to the family and community

Red goes faster is an amazing organisation that supplies all terrain, adaptable wheelchairs for children Red goes faster was founded in Marrakech by Michelle Hank and Brahim Tigharmin and has a team of volunteers from Australia, Morocco, Canada and Italy.

Red goes faster has joined with an Australian based not for profit organisation in Perth - Wheelchairs for kids Australia who build and supply awesome all terrain, adaptable wheelchairs for children.

Why do we need wheelchairs for kids in Morocco?

Mothers often carry their disabled children on their back and when they become too big they are unable to leave the house. Many of these disabled children never go outside, don't go to school, feel isolated and see their small world within the confines of their house looking up from a mattress which leads to further mental and physical complications .

Desperate for mobility many kids are put into umbrella strollers or second hand adult wheelchairs that are too big and not secure and can cause more harm than good.

So far Red goes faster have gifted around 322 wheelchairs to Moroccan children with their second shipment of 154 new, flat packed wheelchairs and spare parts arriving in Casablanca in July, 2017.

Michelle Hank and Brahim Tigharmin

In April 2016 Red goes faster sponsored an Occupational Therapist from Australia to run a four day training session in Marrakesh. Training is ongoing and practical to ensure World Health Organisation standards are met when fitting these fully adaptable, all terrain wheelchairs. 7 new volunteers were trained in Marrakesh - September 2017 and another training will be held in Essaouira, January 2018.

These wheelchairs are fitted ​according to World Health Organisation standards, usually in the family home which means neighbours, family members and sometimes others in the village become involved. Each chair takes around 3 to 4 hours to fit so the child feels ​safe, ​secure and comfortable. During this fitting process, the parents are taught how to adjust the chair and are left with a tool kit to make changes as the child grows. Each child is also given a gift pack with a knitted blanket, soft toy and ball which keeps them occupied while they are being measured and the chair adjusted.

After receiving these bright sporty wheelchairs the kid's social status is raised and they become 'little stars' in their community. Neighbours and kids often knock on the door, wanting to take them out and push their wheelchairs.

The next challenge is to raise enough money to pay for the next shipment of 164 wheelchairs to Casablanca. The wheelchairs are distributed to kids all over Morocco. It is not always easy to deliver the wheelchairs to their excited owners as some of the villages are situated high in the Atlas Mountains and need to be carried by donkeys. Wheelchairs have also been fitted in remote villages in the Sahara.

You can help

Red goes faster are now looking for sponsorship or donations to help with the costs of the next shipment. Freight from Perth to Morocco and then the distribution within Morocco.

Sponsor one child's wheelchair for $250. Donations as little as $5 helps a lot. Donate time, money or expertise to help them.

If you would like to become involved please email mishhank@gmail.com

Find out more on Facebook

You can donate here: Red goes faster


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