Feruzi lives in Kiangai and has Cerebral Palsy. Both his parents are very supportive and do their best to take care of him and each other. After receiving his wheelchair life became so much better for Feruzi and his parents! Now they can take him to church, and he is much more involved in his local community. His wheelchair makes it so much easier for his parents to move him around and he can play with his toys using the tray attached to the chair!
Almasi is from Karatina in Kenya. Since receiving her wheelchair her quality of life has improved so much, she is one of the happiest children in her village! Life was very hard for Almasi before her wheelchair, she was very isolated and couldn’t attend school. Now it is much easier for her to go out, she can travel to school and be much more independent. Her caregiver is also now able to work while Almasi is at school! She feels included in her local community and can participate in more activities when she is at home.
Gacoki is a 38-year-old cobbler and snack-seller in Kenya. His life has been full of physical and emotional challenges, he was born with polio, a condition that caused his body to fold his knees to his chest. His parents did the best they could until missionaries came to his aid and took him in at a young age. When he was 9 years old, he had surgery to straighten out his body and he used crutches to walk around. The missionaries were very supportive, and he went to school up until year 5 which he really enjoyed. Sadly, when he was 12, the missionaries left, and he went back to live with his parents. This wasn’t an easy time for Gacoki, his brothers rejected him as an outcast, and he felt very isolated.
When he was 18, the missionaries were able to get him his first wheelchair! This newfound mobility gave him a sense of dignity and independence. He could start working, using his chair to help him support the goods of his trade, he got married and was with the missionaries where he felt accepted. He took really good care of his chair and it served him well over the last 20 years. Sadly, he suffered a great loss, both his parents and his wife passed away. He left the missionaries 3 years ago and he became incredibly isolated. Despite these hardships, Gacoki remained resilient and hopeful, he discovered Walkabout and things started to turn around. Walkabout gave him a brand-new wheelchair, boosting his mobility and opening possibilities for Gacoki to keep supporting himself. The independence a wheelchair brings gives his life meaning, purpose, and hope for the future.
This year, we have returned to Uganda, a country very close to our hearts, to distribute another 320 wheelchairs and 50 trikes. The wheelchairs came directly from our Wheelchair Assembly and Repair Centre in Kenya in a 40-foot container, which includes a variety of wheelchair types for adults and kids in need.
Meet Colines, a smiley and bright 8-year-old boy from Uganda He contracted polio when he was only three years old, and therefore has never been able to walk. His single mother has been forced to stay at home to look after him, making it very hard for her to find a stable job. When the local team met her she had tears of joy in her eyes. When we asked her why, she said: “Colines now has just as good a chance to be successful in his future as any other child!”
Thanks to your support, kids like Colines now have a chance at a bright future and an independent, happy life!
Natalina, at age 105, fled her home in South Sudan in 2019. The fear and danger in the area was just too much to bear. Although it’s not really what she wants it to be, she at least feels safe in the Palorinya refugee settlement camp. She puts her longevity into gardening and lentils. We can’t even really begin to fathom what she has experienced in her lifetime. She thanks God and the wonderful people who have made it possible for her to move freely again, visit her relatives in the camp, and to live safely.
Meet Saviour. As a child, he has been mistreated by his father, while the boy’s health worsened by the day. An unknown illness eventually paralysed his legs, leaving him unable to leave the house. With an abusive father and a serious ailment, Saviour had no hopes for the future.
Yet, three years ago Saviour turned out to have a ‘saviour’ of his own – uncle Martine, who decided to care for the boy himself. With his love and caress, Saviour’s recovery has begun. Thanks to the wheelchair he received from Euromonitor, Saviour can now go to school, make friends and enjoy the gift of mobility! His uncle Martine told us: “I’d really like to thank the people who made this possible. It will change Saviour’s life and all our lives. God bless you!”
Eva Maria is a cheeky four-year-old girl who had never had a wheelchair before. She was pushed around in a stroller meant for children much younger than her, which gave her no independence and made her feel insecure around other children her age.
You can’t imagine how happy she was to see her first wheelchair – red is her favorite color! She wanted to help with all the adjustments and couldn’t wait to try it out on her own. As soon as we put her in, she immediately worked out how to use the brakes, took them off and started to push herself – all the way out of the fitting room and out the door of the centre. We had to call her back, as we hadn’t even started adjusting the chair!
Ian is a 10-year-old boy from Santa Fe. He is passionate about learning foreign languages and painting. He loves going to school and making new friends, despite the fact that Ian can’t walk and has been carried around by his parents his whole life.
In March 2019, thanks to the amazing fundraising efforts of our Kilimanjaro Heroes, he received his first ever wheelchair. Now he can be independent and experience all the opportunities that come with a gift of mobility, including following his dreams.
Cardoso is an 8-year-old boy from Buenos Aires with a dream of becoming an engineer. He loves studying and it was no surprise for us to find out that his favourite subject was math. But Cardoso is unable to walk and has been carried around by his parents everywhere he went. Thanks to the amazing funraising efforts of our Kilimanjaro Heroes, in March 2019, he received his first ever wheelchair and is now able to experience all the opportunities that come with a gift of mobility.
Mary is from South Sudan and is over 100 years old – though she’s not sure of her exact age! When she was 30, just after she got married, she was struck by polio – and hasn’t been able to walk since. She has never before had a wheelchair.
Mary has lived not only through the current ongoing war in South Sudan, but also the war for independence from North Sudan – Africa’s longest-running civil war. She lost two of her sons as a result of the conflict, and last year, carried by her remaining children and grandchildren, she fled her country, leaving her whole life behind. She said: “I don’t miss South Sudan, there I saw my friends and sons being killed. And after all I’m just happy to be alive and looking back never helps.”
She is a vibrant, plucky and optimistic woman with a huge smile and a wonderful outlook on life. When we asked her the secret to her happiness, she told us: “Dancing and making love.”
Joel is 24 and living in one of the largest refugee camps in Northern Uganda.
After surviving polio as a child, Joel lost the ability to walk and did not have access to a wheelchair. Even without a mobility aid, Joel was not without hope. He would crawl every day to school and then university, determined to fulfil his dream of becoming a doctor. He only had two years of studying remaining when the war in South Sudan reached his village and he was forced to flee his home, carried on his family’s back.
Though he is unable to complete his education whilst living in a refugee camp, Joel hasn’t given up! Instead he aims to participate in the 2020 Paralympic Games in Tokyo. Regardless of the difficulties he faces as a disabled man living in a refugee camp, Joel remains optimistic and motivated, training every day in order to bring him one step closer to his goal.
A tenacious, bright, strong-willed young man, Joel does not see limits when it comes to his disability. Walkabout feel privileged to have been able to give him a tricycle that will truly transform his life.
Emmanuel is an adorable 12 year old with an incredible smile. He was born with spina bifida and hydrocephalus, which has meant that he has never been able to walk. When his father found out about Emmanuel’s disability when he was just 6 months old, he abandoned his family, leaving Emmanuel’s single mother alone and unable to afford to look after her son. His uncle, who already had 5 children of his own, took Emmanuel in and raised him as his own child.
Because he’s never before had a wheelchair, Emmanuel is often left at home alone while his cousins go out to school or to play with other children. He was so excited about his new chair that he had spent the past few weeks telling everyone in the village about it – and that he’d finally be able to join his cousins at the local school. A real charmer, he clapped our team for every adjustment we did on his chair – and didn’t stop beaming throughout!