Free Wheelchair Mission, a US-based organisation that distributes free wheelchairs to persons with disabilities across the world, has held a three-day capacity–building training for its partners in Ghana.
25 volunteers from Centre for Employment of Persons with Disabilities, Enlightening and Empowering of Persons with Disabilities and the Global Evangelical Church-Ghana, the distribution partners in the country, were given training in how to assess and evaluate the conditions of persons with disabilities and to properly assemble measurement-fit wheelchairs for them.
The volunteers who were drawn from the Upper East, Northern, Central, Western Oti, Volta and Greater Accra regions, also learned how to teach persons with disabilities and their caregivers handling of the chairs; as well as tips on accessibility, inclusion and human rights.
The participants were volunteers who were mostly assisting their leaders to assemble the wheelchairs for distribution; but have now been taught how to assemble the chairs and are also expected to go and train other volunteers in their regions.
Ten samples of the assembled wheelchairs by the participants were donated to some persons with disabilities, including two children.
At the closing ceremony on Thursday August 25, 2022, in Accra, the Executive Director of Centre for Employment of Persons with Disabilities, Mr. Alexander Tetteh told the participants not to take their newly-acquired skills for granted, as it was a rare skill in the country and would go a long way to improve their profiles and CVs.
The participants were awarded certificates.
The Free Wheelchair Mission is an international faith-based nonprofit humanitarian organization providing wheelchairs for people with disabilities in developing countries who do not have the resources to obtain wheelchairs, of whom the World Health Organization estimates to number over 70 million.
Working in partnership with other like-minded groups, Free Wheelchair Mission has distributed wheelchairs in over 93 developing countries around the world, delivering its one-millionth wheelchair in mid-2017.
Funding for the wheelchairs are provided by private and public donations including individuals, groups, corporations, churches, universities, and foundations.
To save cost and ensure quality control, the wheelchairs are shipped from the factory and assembled by pre-approved distribution partners in recipient countries, which distribute to persons with disabilities.
Through the three partners in Ghana, over 3,000 wheelchairs have been donated since 2017.
According to Miss Ilse Caballeros, one of the trainers, another container of wheelchairs is currently on its way to Ghana, expected to arrive by the end of October, 2022.