Wheelchairs for Moroccan kids 'Red goes faster'

By Red goes faster

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who are we ?

Red goes faster was founded in the 'red city' Marrakesh by Michelle Hank and Brahim Tigharmin

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 , 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 and supply us with awesome all terrain, adaptable wheelchairs for children ..

the team

Our operations team of volunteers are from Australia, Morocco, Canada and Italy.

Michelle Hank - Founder and director

Brahim Tgharmin - Founder and director based in Morocco

Bahija Benchekroun Darif (Michelle’s 11 yr old daughter) - Founder, experienced Fitter, translation, cultural consultant

Sarah Bruni - Family liaison, consultant, trainer, fundraising, experienced fitter and maintenance expert.

Emanuele Porta - Trainer, experienced fitter and maintenance expert .

Sarah & Emanuele are based in Marrakesh, this ' hands on ' couple spend long hours fitting wheelchairs and supporting/training other dedicated volunteers.

Carmel Dubreuil - Fundraising, media, artist and advisor

Niccy Pallant - Photography/artist/media, training coordinator, wheelchair fitter, volunteer database and administration

Louise Rogers - Volunteer advisor, wheelchair fitter

Everyone involved in this sustainable outreach project are volunteers.

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 children 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.

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

here’s what we’re doing

So far we have gifted around 322 wheelchairs to Moroccan children

Our second shipment of 154 new, flat packed wheelchairs and spare parts arrived in Casablanca in July, 2017. Thanks to our friends and supporters who helped out with donations .

In April 2016 we sponsored an Occupational Therapist from Australia to run a four day training session in Marrakesh. Training is ongoing and practical to ensure World Health Organisiation standards are met when fitting these fully adaptable, all terrain wheelchairs. Seven new volunteers were trained in Marrakesh - September 2017 and another training will be held in Essaouira, January 2018.

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 children in their village or local neighborhood, making it easier to provide ongoing support and maintenance.

These 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. 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.

Every child a new beautiful story

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.

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

next challenge


Our next challenge is to raise enough money to pay for the next shipment of 164 wheelchairs to Casablanca. The wheelchairs are distributed to children all over Morocco. It is not always easy to deliver the wheelchairs to their excited owners as 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

how you can help us

We are now looking for sponsorship or donations to help with the costs of the next shipment, 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 $250

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 and the Red goes faster team



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