In April 2015, a devastating earthquake shook Nepal, killing nearly 9,000 people and injuring nearly 22,000. A few months after, Walkabout sent a relief container of 100 wheelchairs, with the hope of restoring dignity, freedom and independence to the people who had lost so much.
The disaster may have been almost two years ago, but its presence is still being felt across the country. That’s why last week, we returned to Nepal to distribute 250 chairs to people with spinal cord injuries, alongside our local partner, Spinal Injury Rehabilitation Centre (SIRC).
Many people live extremely remotely in Nepal, and often those we met had travelled for many hours (and in some cases, even days) to receive their chair. Tulashi, pictured above, was injured when she fell out of a tree 9 years ago. She paid her neighbour to carry her for three hours just to reach the closest road to her village, and then spent two days on three buses to reach the centre, where she received a chair that means she no longer has to spend all of her time isolated and alone at home.
We spent the week building, fitting, and modifying 250 rough terrain wheelchairs – each of which represented a world of opportunity to its recipient; whether it was the possibility of starting a business, returning to work, or even just being able to leave the house alone to go to the market.