Feb 8, 2021

An Update From the Field

We know that 2020 brought lots of obstacles and hardships. We are so thankful that you helped us stay committed to our CoolKids through the turbulent and uncertain times of 2020.
Because of your support we were able to offer the teams in each of our 11 programs in 10 countries the personal protective equipment (PPE) needed to operate safely, ensuring our CoolKids did not have to choose between mobility and health.
One of those was our program Puspadi Bali, in Bali, Indonesia. Despite ever changing lockdowns in 2020, Puspadi was able to treat 174 ALTSO CoolKids in need with our direct product support - including Joshi modular prosthetic limbs, prosthetic feet, and custom fit orthotic devices.
 
"Thank you very much for your huge support to protect our staff, clients, their families and the communities"  - Putu Juliani, Puspadi Operations Manager
 
We are proud to share that we are the first, and only organization, to ever provide modular prosthetic limb components to Puspadi Bali, free of charge.
In 2021, as developed countries roll out their inoculation plans, our programs in the developing world will likely be left to continue to wait before the option to be vaccinated is an option.
As such, we still need your help to provide more PPE & sanitizing equipment.
We estimate that in 2021 alone, our CoolKids and their providers will need at least another $50,000 in PPE to ensure safety to staff and patients.
Every donation truly does count. Just $5 provides 10 CoolKids with the face masks needed to significantly reduce risk of contracting COVID-19.
And if you join our CoolKids Club - an automatic, recurring donation program - you can help us provide follow up treatment to 6 children each year with just $25/month.
Oct 12, 2020

Reopening in Nepal

All of ALTSO's 11 programs in 10 developing countries suffered some form of shut down due to COVID-19. The reality is, as slow as we feel that our reopening has and will continue to be, most of our programs have a much longer road ahead with limited access to PPE or new treatment options.

 

Our longtime partner in the Gulmi District of Nepal, Hope Disability Centere (HDC), is one of those such programs. It's founder and director, Ganga, is a bi-lateral amputee who grew up in a country with strong social stigmas towards persons with disabilities, never had an equal chance to succeed. But Ganga is perseverant, motivated, and strong. She begged her parents to send her to school. She overcame the bullying, the ostracization, and discrimination.

 

At age 16 Ganga met a kind hearted Kiwi traveling through Nepal. Taken by Ganga's strength and charisma, he arranged for Ganga to receive her first pair of prosthetic legs. In 2006, with the help of a group of New Zealanders, Ganga established Hope Disability Centre. We are proud to have partnered with HDC since 2009, helping to provide treatment and rehabilitative care to hundreds of children. See Ganga's personal video account of what hass been going on ovre the last sevaral months at HDC.

 

Director of Programs, A.J., recently checked-in with Ganga to talk about the ongoings at HDC. Nepal has been on a strict shutdown since March, given the severity of COVID-19 , making it difficult to treat our CoolKids in critical need of mobility aids. Just this last week Nepal reported the highest single-day COVID-19 fatalities.

 

Our wheelchairs and prosthetic limbs have reached Nepal, but until the shutdown is lifted patients will not be able to visit for fittings.

 

Until then, HDC is preparing for the day it can reopen its doors. Thanks to the support of donors and our COVID-19 reopening fund, we will be able to provide our programs with the PPE and sanitizing equipments needed to continue to safely provide mobility solutions.

Ganga
Ganga
Jun 23, 2020

Our CoolKid Safety Standards

CoolKid Zian
CoolKid Zian

Since the onset of COVID-19, we have been in close conversation with our programs, and monitoring rules in the countries we serve. While each of our 11 programs were temporarily closed, quarantine orders are now lifting and our programs are beginning the slow and cautious process of reopening. Our team has been strategizing to best position them to keep their employees, our CoolKids, and their greater communities safe. 

The risk of COVID-19 in the communities we serve is especially great given the lack of access to basic healthcare in the developing world. Prevention is key to avoiding infection and the spread of COVID-19.

It is our responsibility to ensure each program has the necessary tools to serve our CoolKids safely. The funds suddenly needed to do so have not been budgeted for. Taking on these extra costs is not optional, but a new necessity in this reality we now navigate together. We are working to provide our programs with personal protective equipment and santizing tools needed to provide mobility solutions to our kids.

Last month, 6 year-old CoolKid Zian received an emergency height adjustment to his Joshi prosthetic limb at our program in Yogyakarta, Indonesia. Thanks to our Joshi's modular design, his appointment was a breeze. But if follow-up treatment hadn't been readily available or if Zian had been left untreated altogether due to COVID-19, extensive damage to his hips, spine, and overall quality of life would have ensued.

Luckily Zian arrived for his checkup with his own washable cloth mask - a requirement at all of our programs. However, the majority of our CoolKids do not have the means to purchase or produce their own masks for protection.

Your support helps us ensure our CoolKids do not have to choose between their mobility or their health.

 
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