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The wheels keep on turning…

Most of the terrain in the Southern Province is rough and sandy. There are no orderly pavements and tarmac roads as we expect here in the UK. The wear and tear on wheelchairs is phenomenal and as a result, every week people come to the HHZ compound from far and wide seeking help with their worn out wheelchairs. You need to see some of the wheelchairs to believe the condition they are in. It is difficult to imagine how someone without legs is reliant on such a poor mobility aid.

Fortunately, we have managed to meet this need thanks to the HHZ carpenter, Robbie. In 2005 Robbie was involved in a road traffic accident and was admitted to Monze Mission Hospital for 6 weeks. It was during this time that Robbie came to understand how difficult it is to live with pain and immobility. When he had properly recovered from the accident, Robbie decided to join Health Help Zambia and was soon using his skills to repair mobility aids especially wheelchairs. We provide the funds so that HHZ can employ Robbie and purchase the necessary materials. As a result, wheelchairs are mended while clients wait. There is no fee. They leave happy and satisfied.

Each term Robbie visits the special schools where some of the HHI sponsored disabled children receive their education, namely Choongo school and Nanga school. He will service the wheelchairs and repair them. This is such an essential service as the students could not attend school without their working wheels.

Robbie has proved time and time again that he is the main ‘go to’ man when there is work to be done. And he is more than a skilled craftsman. He is always ready and willing to offer advice and practical suggestions as well as turn his hand to the next challenge.
Staff at the Holy family physiotherapy centre in Monze are aware of Robbie’s’ skills. They direct mothers with children who have cerebral palsy to visit the HHZ compound where they will receive a standing frame. These are carefully made to size out of paper mâché and they support a child into an upright standing position which in turn strengthens their muscles. Mothers are so very happy when they see their children standing independently for the first time! It is wonderful to experience their joy.

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