12 August 2005
Volunteers have packed some 320 aids, including wheelchairs, commodes, crutches and walking frames, to be shipped to Banda Aceh for victims of the tsunami disaster.
A team of 15 volunteers will leave for Banda Aceh on 20 August to hand over the aids and conduct 'Training-of-Trainers' workshops. In all, 100 volunteers from Banda Aceh will be trained to refurbish and maintain the wheelchairs, so that they in turn can provide the service and impart the knowledge to others.
This is all part of the Move for Mobility project that collects and refurbishes old mobility aids for the disabled victims of the Asia tsunami disaster. In addition to the refurbished aids, new aids will also be purchased for the victims. In total, 500 new and refurbished aids will make its way to Indonesia, in three phases.
Move for Mobility is the brainchild of Mr Soh Chee Keong, Vice President of SPD and an active volunteer in several voluntary welfare organizations. Funded by the Singapore Red Cross and supported under the auspices of the Central Singapore Community Development Council's 'Pass-It-On' project, this is a collaboration initiative by Society for the Physically Disabled (SPD), Singapore International Foundation (SIF), Mobility Aid Recycling Services Centre (MARSC) and Keppel FMO.
Mr Soh says, "We started Move for Mobility when research revealed a need for more than 2000 mobility aids for victims of the disaster.
"After three months of appealing, collecting and refurbishing, we are finally able to see the project come to fruition at this handover, and happy that our work can help to improve the quality of life for some of the disabled, both here and in Aceh."
Public appeals were made in May, for used mobility aids to be donated at five designated collection points islandwide, and for volunteers to be trained to help repair and refurbish the aids.
Donations continue to be collected. Those interested to donate or volunteer with the Move for Mobility project can contact Alice Hue (SPD) on 62366391 or Joshua Loh (Pass-It-On) at 63709813, or visit www.spd.org.sg or www.passiton.org.sg. The same applies to those wishing to apply for a refurbished mobility aid.
Benefiting organisations in Aceh include the Zainoel Abidin Hospital (RSZA), Muhammadiyah, The Patimadora Foundation (TPF) and Perkumpulan Keluarga Berencana Indonesia (PKBI).