Building children’s wheelchair services in Fiji
Motivation Australia (MA) was founded in 2007 with the mission 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.
Motivation Australia work with local Government and non-Government organisations to help build services 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 their 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 AUD grant to 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.
Motivation Australia has been working in Fiji for eight years alongside local organisations, to build the capacity of national personnel in wheelchair service delivery. The next step is to extend the skills and expertise of these staff to ‘intermediate level’, equipping them to safely provide wheelchairs for children (and adults) who need additional postural support to sit upright.
MA will work with local partners to coordinate and deliver a ten-day training course in intermediate wheelchair service delivery. This project is being carried out within the context of an overall programme of capacity building national personnel in the management, clinical and technical skills needed to safely provide mobility device services (wheelchairs, prosthetics, orthotics and walking aids) in five countries in the Pacific Region.
Grant funds from UCF would be used solely to support local costs for the ten-day training course for 22 participants in Fiji where the expected outcomes will be:
- 12 clinical and 10 technical personnel from 2 non-government and 3 government (physiotherapy departments) agencies will be trained in how to safely provide a child with an appropriate wheelchair, including teaching the child and family how to use their wheelchair and following up;
- at least 10 children will receive an appropriate wheelchair during the training (participating in practical sessions) and;
- ongoing service provision for children through each site (with additional mentoring and assistance in future procurement of wheelchairs and materials)
While the budget for the programme exceeds $2,000 AUD, the UCF directors were confident that with funds from another donor and the ACNP matched funding, the programme will go ahead as planned between June and September 2018.
The UCF board were pleased to approve the grant application.