Leg disabled people in most rural, African settings never receive a wheelchair. They crawl or drag themselves on the ground over sharp rocks, through mud and sand. Sometimes they have someone who will carry them if they are small. Their disability can be from birth defects, disease, neglect, war, malnutrition, snake bite, and parasites. The Mobility Wheelchair is a vehicle to restore their mobility, their freedom to go to work, church, school, or market, and their dignity.
Disabled people are often shunned and not included in community life because people are afraid of their disability or what they believe they might have done to get it. Many children as well as adults are afflicted by malnutrition and birth defects that are easily correct in the Developed world. These individuals need a sturdy cart to travel, transport items to market (including small children), a vehicle with no-flat tires, and something that makes them a valued member of their community.
The mobility wheelchairs are made by all volunteers and shipped overseas to developing nations; predominately rural areas. The free cart is for those who retain good upper body strength, but no legs are needed otherwise. In the field, depending on how they are cared for, the cart can last 8-10 years. At that point, the person is issued a new one. Follow-up is done to make sure they are using it and that it fits them.
The long term effect includes a shift in the paradigm of how disabled people are looked at and valued in a community. To encourage their inclusion and participation in all aspects of family life. No longer do people have to drag themselves along in the dirt for kilometers. This Mobility Worldwide is making approximately 20,000 mobility wheelchairs per year. We could make many more with more resources.