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Jida and Maria’s story

In March 2017, best friends Maria Ricart Karaouni and Jida Khazaal approached Walkabout with a huge goal: to raise enough money for an entire container of wheelchairs for their home country, Guinea.

One huge tennis tournament, one donated birthday, and many generous friends, family members and colleagues later, Jida and Maria had achieved their goal. So in October 2017 – just six months after the fundraising began – Team Walkabout headed to Guinea for the first time ever to distribute 175 life-changing wheelchairs.

Guinea is one of the poorest countries in the world, with an estimated 55% of inhabitants living below the poverty line. There is little provision for, and huge stigma surrounding, people with disabilities, and many of the people we met had spent their whole lives crawling on the floor, often wearing flip-flops on their hands, to get around.

We are incredibly grateful to Jida, Maria, and all the kind donors who made it possible to change the lives of 175 people in desperate need. If you’re inspired by their story and would like to fundraise to single-handedly transform lives, get involved today!

Arielle’s story

 

Walkabout Ambassador Arielle Rausin, a 21-year-old Team USA Paralympic athlete from Florida, joined us in Kenya in 2017, after raising enough money for 10 wheelchairs in the 2017 London Marathon. All the children on the distribution loved talking to Arielle about her racing, and she taught them how to push and transfer into their new chairs. For many of the recipients, and for their parents, meeting Arielle demonstrated first-hand all the possibilities that are available with the mobility of a wheelchair. And there really is no better way to learn how to use your first ever wheelchair than practicing with a world-class athlete!

Lulu’s journey from El Camino to Kenya

In December 2016, following our trip to Uganda, Team Walkabout travelled straight to Kenya, where we distributed 230 wheelchairs with our longstanding partner, United Disabled People of Laikipia. This distribution was particularly special as we were accompanied by one superstar volunteer, Lulu Dillon, pictured above.

Last year, Lulu embarked on a gruelling 500km trek across Spain, along the Camino de Santiago de Compostela. Accompanied by our very own Programmes Manager, lzzy, who walked beside her, she managed to raise a phenomenal £11,520 from more than 100 friends for Walkabout. We were ecstatic to have Lulu as part of our Kenyan distribution as she single-handedly funded a quarter of the value of the container and 60 of the 230 wheelchairs we fitted!

The dedication and generosity of people like Lulu never ceases to amaze us. If you find inspiration in Lulu’s story and would like to be more involved with Walkabout, please get in touch. You too can help change lives!