Wheelchairs for Moroccan kids 'Red goes faster'

By Red goes faster

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who are we ?

Red goes faster was established in the 'red city ' Marrakesh, Morocco by Michelle Hank, Brahim Tigharmin, Carmel Debreuil and Louise Rogers.

Michelle Hank has lived and worked with the visually impaired and disabled in Marrakesh for 20 years. During this time she witnessed a great demand for wheelchairs, in particular for children.

Red goes faster was born from a friendship between Michelle and 'Marrakshi' local, Brahim Tigharmin, who is a polio survivor and wheelchair bound himself. Michelle and Brahim have worked on many not for profit outreach programs together .

Red goes faster has joined with an Australian based not for profit organisation in Perth - Wheelchairs for kids Australia who build all terrain, adaptable wheelchairs for children in developing countries.

Heading up the volunteer team in Morocco are Sarah Bruni and Emanuele Porta . Based in Marrakesh, this 'hands on' couple spend long hours fitting wheelchairs and organising/training other dedicated volunteers. Everyone involved in this sustainable outreach project are volunteers. No person is paid and there are minimal administration costs.

One hundred and fifty four new, flat packed wheelchairs and spare parts will arrive in Casablanca in July, 2017. Our challenge is to raise enough money to pay for the shipment of these wheelchairs to Casablanca and then be transported to Marrakesh where they are distributed to the kids all over Morocco . It is not always easy to deliver the wheelchairs to their excited owners. Some of the villages are situated high in the Atlas Mountains and need to be carried by donkeys. Wheelchairs have also been fitted in remote villages in the Sahara .

why do we need wheelchairs for kids in Morocco?

Mothers often carry their disabled children on their back and when they become too big they are unable to leave the house. Many of these disabled children never go outside , don't go to school, feel isolated and see their small world within the confines of their house looking up from a mattress which leads to further mental and physical complications .

Desperate for mobility many kids are put into umbrella strollers or second hand adult wheelchairs that are too big and not secure. A poorly fitted wheelchair can cause more harm than good.

here’s what we’re doing

In April 2016 we sponsored an Occupational Therapist from Australia to run a four day training session in Marrakesh. Now we have around eight trained local volunteers . We will be holding another volunteer training session in Marrakesh on the 23rd and 24th September, 2017.

Participants that receive the training are selected from organisations interested in receiving the wheelchairs for the children they work with or individuals that are wanting to volunteer in their community . The trained, dedicated volunteers help the kids in their village or local neighborhood so they are on hand to provide ongoing support and maintenance making this is an ongoing sustainable project

These fully adaptable, rough terrain wheelchairs are fitted ​according to World Health Organisation standards, usually in the family home which means neighbours, family members and sometimes others in the village become involved which encourages community engagement and integration. Each chair takes around 3 to 4 hours to fit so the child feels ​safe, ​secure and comfortable. During this fitting process, the parents are taught how to adjust the chair and are left with a tool kit to make changes as the child grows. Each child is also given a gift pack with a knitted blanket , soft toy and ball which keeps them occupied while they are being measured and the chair adjusted.

​One wheelchair ​​has immense impact - it takes pressure of family/carers and opens up a new world of mobility and socialisation.

Every story warms your heart but some of our milestones have been kids now able to go to school, mix with peers and terminally ill children able to spend their last months 'out and about' with their families.

After receiving these bright sporty wheelchairs the kid's social status is raised and they become 'little stars' in their community. Neighbours and kids often knock on the door, wanting to take them out and push their wheelchairs.

Every child a new story

Abderzaks story ......

Abderazak was the first child to receive a new wheelchair, he has brittle bones and his mother carried him around by tying him to her back. This gift has changed this young boy and his family's life. Not only can he now leave his living room but he is attending school, making new friends and it has opened the doors to an exciting future, full of possibilities. When asked how the wheelchair had changed his life, Abderzak told us he was now chief scorer at the local street football matches !

See more stories at fb.me/redgoesfastermorocco

you can join us

Carmel, Louise and Michelle have been spreading the word and fundraising in Australia but there are only so many chook raffles and moroccan dinner parties one can host !

We are now looking for sponsorship or donations to help with the costs of freight from Perth to Morocco and then the distribution within Morocco.

Donations as little as $5 helps us a lot

Sponsor one child's wheelchair $200

Donate time, money or expertise to help us.

We are also looking for hands on help , if you would like to become involved please email

[email protected]


THANK YOU
SHOKRAN

Michelle x



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