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Jan 12, 2012

A welcomed donation of wheelchairs

Sixty wheelchairs were handed over this morning to various persons with disabilities as well as some organizations. It is part of a donation of two hundred and fifty facilitated by the Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simpliss Barrow via a foundation in Taiwan. The KHMH, Voice and Stella Maris received their share of the wheelchairs and the rest were handed over directly to individuals with disabilities. News Five’s Delahnie Bain reports.

Delahnie Bain, Reporting

Two hundred and fifty disabled persons from across Belize will receive free wheelchairs, sponsored by the Taiwanese Pusion Foundation. The generous donation is the product of a partnership with Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis Barrow.

Kim Simplis Barrow

Kim Simplis Barrow, Special Envoy for Women and Children

“The Wheelchairs that are being handed over today are part of a much larger donation of two hundred and fifty wheelchairs and come courtesy of the Pusion Foundation in Taiwan. In July I had the opportunity to visit that country and met with several NGOs in an effort to lay a foundation for future collaborations. During the trip I was pleasantly surprised when the foundation made known their intention to donate these wheelchairs and it came to be a most timely donation.”

A small representation of the recipients was present at this morning’s handing over ceremony and the remainder of the wheelchairs will be distributed by Care Belize.

Evan Cowo

Director, Evan Cowo says there is an abundance of persons who need, but cannot afford a wheelchair.

Evan Cowo, Director, CARE-Belize

“The donation of two hundred and fifty wheelchairs this morning is very welcomed. Over the past months, almost every day we keep getting calls to our office that people are requesting wheelchairs. And what is touching this morning as you can see, the recipients that we have here are children and most of these children use their wheelchair to go to school.  KHMH is a recipient of twenty-five wheelchairs this morning and they will be using it in the wards and accident and emergency section. So those as well will come in handy and Doctor Longsworth is here to receive those wheelchairs.”

Kim Simplis Barrow

“This inability to walk unassisted has a variety of causes from illnesses, such as diabetes, which can lead to amputations to traffic accidents, genetics and conditions at birth. And at a cost of upwards of five hundred dollars, buying a wheelchair is not feasible for many cash stricken families. As such they depend on donations from organizations such as the Pusion Foundation.”

And according to Taiwanese Ambassador David Wu, the donation of wheelchairs is only one aspect of his country’s support for Simplis Barrow’s work in Belize.

David Wu

David Wu, Ambassador, Republic of China (Taiwan)

“Aside from the donation of the two hundred and fifty wheelchairs which was donated by the Pusion Foundation in Taiwan, my government will also donate two hundred thousand US dollars for the construction of the Inspiration Center. Additionally, my embassy has also continued to extend support to Mrs. Barrow’s Lifeline Foundation activities to further assist the people of Belize. I would like to take this opportunity to commend Mrs. Barrow for her dedication and love to help women and children in Belize, particularly those with disabilities. It takes only one individual to show compassion to those persons for the rest of the world to follow the example and therefore we hope the donation will encourage more countries and more embassies to contribute and to facilitate the completion of the inspiration center.”

The two hundred and fifty wheelchairs are valued at over forty thousand dollars. Delahnie Bain for News Five.

Assisting disabled persons with mobility issues is also a step toward fulfilling the mandate of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities, which was ratified by Belize in 2011.

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