Yesterday in the House of Lords, CFI Honorary President Lord Polak CBE called on the Government to provide funding to ‘Wheelchairs of Hope’, an Israeli charity providing affordable wheelchairs to the developing world. The charity is an initiative to develop, design, manufacture and provide wheelchairs to children in need of mobility.
Lord Polak explained: “This is a charity where using old plastic chairs, the inventors have created strong and sturdy wheelchairs for the developing world at a cost of somewhere between $50 and $100 per wheelchair”.
The Conservative peer emphasised how instrumental the charity is for education in the developing world: “This has been a great thing for people, especially young children, in the developing world, to be able to get to school and otherwise they wouldn’t get there. I suggest that the Minister has a good look at this and hopefully DfID might help these children get to school and give them a bit of mobility which they have not had before”.
He suggested that the Minister “has a good look at this and hopefully DfID might help these children get to school and give them a bit of mobility which they have not had before”.
International Development Minister Lord Bates said that he was “very happy” to consider the charity for UK funding, also encouraging the charity “to see whether it would be eligible for the UK Aid Direct funding round which is in place at the moment, or the Small Charities Challenge Fund, which has just been launched as well”.
Distribution of the wheelchairs is assisted by Beit Issie Shapiro (BIS), an NGO located in Ra’anana, a global leader pioneering innovation to improve the quality of life and ensure rights for people with disabilities in Israel and internationally, across all cultural and religious divides.
The organisation is leading research into assistive technology to improve the well-being and social inclusion of people with disabilities.
A number of CFI delegations have visited the charity, where they have learned about its innovative disabled care facilities and visited its sensory room – the first in Israel, and visited the BIS’s Sindian Center – the first early intervention centre in the Arab sector in Israel.