HHA launches official partnership with Walkabout Foundation
25 February 2021 12:22
Hope Health Action launches official partnership with Walkabout Foundation
Hope Health Action and Walkabout Foundation are delighted to announce that they have entered into a global strategic partnership, combining HHA’s expertise of facilitating sustainable, innovative and life-saving health and disability care with Walkabout Foundations global wheelchair distribution services.
Within the 156 developing countries in the world, it is estimated that at least 2% (around 122 million people) require a wheelchair, of which less than 10% have access to one. In Haiti, those with disabilities are among the most vulnerable, with conditions prohibiting their independence, their access to key services (such as education and health) and alienates them from community activities.
HHA and Walkabout Foundation believe that everyone should have access to the dignity, freedom and independence that mobility brings. Together, HHA and Walkabout Foundation are building a brand new Wheelchair Assembly and Repair Centre in Haiti (which will have the official name 'HHA Walkabout Distribution Centre), and once completed, will provide Haitians with a regular and sustainable supply of wheelchairs and transforming hundreds of lives every year. What’s more, this centre will become the single largest wheelchair provider in the country, and act as a regional hub for Latin America.
“Hope Health Action is delighted to be partnering with Walkabout Foundation on this exciting new project that will transform the lives of thousands of people across Haiti in the coming years.” says Carywn Hill, CEO and Co-founder of HHA. “This will be the country's first national wheelchair distribution facility that will tackle a critical national need and transform rehabilitation efforts across Haiti.”
“Persons with disabilities (PWDs) in Haiti face many extreme challenges, lacking access to key services like education, healthcare and employment opportunities, whilst also facing significant stigma and abuse in a culture that often views PWDs as cursed. Yet, thanks to the efforts of groups like HHA and WF this is changing.”
“Opening this new wheelchair distribution centre is a major step forward in fulfilling our joint dream to ensure everyone in Haiti who needs a wheelchair, can have access to one. There are few greater privileges in our work than to see the humbling transformation of someone who arrives at our hospital, crawling in the dust and dirt having never had a wheelchair, but later leaving; proud, independent and mobile with their life-transforming wheelchair.
“We cannot wait to see the incredible impact this new collaboration will have, overcoming one of Haiti’s most critical service gaps in supporting persons with disabilities.”
The team at Walkabout Foundation share HHA’s enthusiasm about this exciting new project - “We are incredibly excited and humbled to be bringing the Haiti project to life alongside our long-standing partner, Hope Health Action, who are experts in the field of mobility disability and care needs in Haiti.” says Walkabout Foundations Co-Founder, Carolina Gonzalez-Bunster.
“We could not ask for a better partner, who have been working in Haiti for over 14 years and we strongly believe that together, we will make a sustainable impact in a country so close to our hearts and history.”
This partnership will see local wheelchair riders being hired to assemble and distribute a minimum of 900 wheelchairs every year, investing in local expertise and creating lasting, sustainable change across Haiti.