Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Cabo Verde Wheelchair Distribution--Sao Nicolau

An hour before the planned wheelchair distribution, the streets of Tarrafall, Sao Nicolau were completely empty. Once the word got out that there was something different happening in town, everyone was headed towards the center of activity.

Everyone is gathering in one central location.
At the community center for the disabled, to watch their friends receive a wheelchair from the Humanitarian Services of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saint.

This is one of the biggest events of the year for this small island community, and everyone wants to be a part of it, and witness the action.

One by one, people arrive...
on foot....
by car...

by chair...

and, by cane.

Municipal officials are present.

Along with the local media.

And, James Treves, a member of the Church District Presidency.

Then, with patience they wait for it all to begin....with huge smiles on their faces and giggles caught in their throats.

Someone asked us recently, "Why wheelchairs?"

"Why is the Church so interested in donating wheelchair?"

We think pictures can answers that question better we can. Here are just a few.

Sometimes, gratitude comes as much from the caregiver and family as from the new wheelchair user. This prospective is new to us. Not only do wheelchairs offer mobility to the user. It can ease a heavy load for those who love and care for the physcially disabled.
The benefits of wheelchair donations is far reaching, and worth the months and months of preparation.

Wheelchair donations can create a new bond of friendship.

...and warms the heart.

For us, it is one of the greatest experiences of humanitarian service.

For the recipient, it can be a new life.

As this gentleman put it. "Now that I have a new ride, I can go find a girl."

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