Latter-day Saint Charities Updates

Wheelchair Specialists Work with CONADIS to Sponsor Wheelchair Evaluation Training

Wheelchair training participants in Ecuador.

The week of August 17, 2014, LDS Charities provided two three-day trainings—one in Guayaquil and one in Quito—for staff from CONADIS—a national council that helps those with disabilities in Ecuador. Wheelchair specialists from the United States traveled to Ecuador to spend a week training physicians and medical personnel who represented each province in the country. The training included information on properly evaluating each person before providing a wheelchair, selecting the best type and size of wheelchair for each person based on his or her needs and circumstances, fitting the wheelchair, and teaching each wheelchair recipient how to stay healthy and use and maintain his or her wheelchair.

On the third day of each three-day training session, the participants put their training to practice. In Guayaquil and Quito, they assessed and fit 38 people for wheelchairs. One of the wheelchair recipients was a young man with no legs, who arrived sandwiched between two friends on the seat of a motorcycle. Many lives were changed beyond those who received a new wheelchair that day: the seminar participants came to a greater understanding of the importance of placing the right person in the right wheelchair, and they will continue to distribute wheelchairs to people in their various regions. And the families of recipients will also be greatly blessed.

As part of this project, LDS Charities will donate 1,140 wheelchairs and 400 walking aids to CONADIS to benefit people with disabilities in Ecuador. LDS Charities is donating two types of wheelchairs: standard wheelchairs and all-terrain chairs, which can be used by those living in more remote, less developed areas of the country.

In October 2014, at the request of CONADIS, LDS Charities provided additional training in wheelchair maintenance and repair to 23 individuals who will work with CONADIS to set up wheelchair repair facilities throughout the country. These facilities will allow wheelchairs to be appropriately maintained and repaired at a low cost, enabling those who received wheelchairs to retain them for longer periods of time.

In 2013 the Humanitarian Services wheelchair initiative benefited 66,000 people in 54 countries, including Ecuador.