Building children’s wheelchair services in Fiji
Motivation Australia (MA) was founded in 2007 with the mission is to enable people with disabilities to be healthy and mobile, access assistive technology (such as wheelchairs, prosthetics, vision and hearing aids), and achieve full and equal inclusion. They work primarily with local organisations in the Pacific Region.
They work with local Government and non-Government organisations to help build services that can provide and sustain basic rehabilitation and provision of assistive technology for people with disabilities, people with disabling health conditions (such as diabetes) and those who are ageing. MA staff work alongside national personnel to advocate for services, provide quality training for personnel, plan and implement practical solutions and build local capacity.
Motivation Australia’s ANCP accreditation also means that for every $1.00 raised from the Australian Public (including funds such as UCF) and spent on our international development projects, the ANCP provide $5.00. This means that a grant from UCF of $2,000 realises $10,000 project funding from the Australian Government.
Motivation Australia applied to UCF for a $2,000 grant ton increase children’s access to quality wheelchairs through local services in Fiji.
There is a large unmet need for children’s wheelchairs in Fiji. The absence of established children’s wheelchair services results in children with a mobility disability being denied access to school and other activities accessed by their non-disabled peers. The solution is not to just ship and donate wheelchairs; but rather to create a sustainable, affordable system that ensures long term access to appropriate wheelchairs provided by qualified Fiji staff.
Their objectives are:
- Train 22 national personnel (physiotherapists, community rehabilitation assistants and technicians) from four sites in the skills needed to assess the needs of children with a mobility disability;
- prescribe and fit the most appropriate wheelchair for each child;
- provide training for the child, parents and teachers in how to use the wheelchair safely; and
- provide follow up to make sure the wheelchair continues to meet the child’s needs.