By Alesha Cadet
The Rotary Club of East Nassau, in partnership with The Rotary Club of Joplin Missouri, donated 100 wheelchairs to the Bahamas Association For the Physically Disabled (BAPD) yesterday.
President of the Rotary Club of East Nassau Michele Rassin said, “Rotary is about doing good work in the world and this is one prime example of two Rotary Clubs getting together internationally to help make a difference in someone’s life.
“We are very honored to have worked with the Rotary Club of Joplin Missouri to be able to provide 100 wheelchairs for the Bahamas to those in need. The need is great and we have a lot of people in this country who need resources that the Government can’t provide and that they can’t provide for themselves. Rotary and the good work that Rotary does, we are very proud to be able to offer this assistance to the Bahamian community.”
Mavis Darling-Hill, deputy director of Social Services, said it is estimated that 100 to 130 million individuals with disabilities worldwide are in dire need of wheelchairs.
She said, “The Wheelchair Foundation, in partnership with the international humanitarian business professionals and non-governmental organisations, have provided the gifts of freedom and mobility to more than 500 thousand individuals in over 140 countries.
“The goal of the wheelchair foundation is to provide a wheelchair for everyone in the world lacking the financial resources to purchase the necessary chairs.”
Ms. Hill said for individuals with physical disabilities, the freedom and mobility that a wheelchair provides can be the first step towards successfully integrating into society.
She added, “For those individuals, whether they are children or adults with mobility impairment, the gift of a wheelchair not only has the ability to provide a sense of dignity and self respect, but it can also be the key that unlocks the door to opportunities.”
Beverly Oakes, a member of the Rotary Club of Joplin Missouri, said, “It’s been our privilege to partner with the Rotary Club of East Nassau to bring these wheelchairs.
“I’m just one person representing our club and it is also my privilege and fellowship to be a part of Rotary International, where things like this happen all over the world.”