Free Wheelchair Mission Because No One Deserves to Crawl
Don Schoendorfer, a biomechanical engineer, founded Free Wheelchair Mission after witnessing the plight of a woman with disabilities dragging herself across a road in Morocco. Haunted by her image, Schoendorfer used his MIT training to develop a low-cost, durable, functional wheelchair that would become the cornerstone of Free Wheelchair Mission, which he started in 2001 to serve people with disabilities in developing countries. Worldwide, an estimated 100 million people are in dire need of a wheelchair... [see more] but lack the resources to obtain one. Many are forced to live on the ground or must wait to be carried to meet their most basic needs. Free Wheelchair Missions goal is to deliver 100,000 wheelchairs annually to the poorest of the poor in some of the most remote regions of the world. This episode of the Visionaries follows Schoendorfer to Ayacucho, Peru, where he will make one of the most significant deliveries of his life - Free Wheelchair Missions millionth wheelchair. This story is a celebration of the lives that have been changed the children who can now attend school and the parents who can support their families because of Schoendorfers wheelchairs, which are often the first step toward dignity in a more inclusive world.
Smile Train is an international childrens charity with a sustainable approach to a single, solvable problem: cleft lip and palate. Millions of children in developing countries with untreated clefts live in isolation, but more importantly, have difficulty eating, breathing and speaking. Cleft repair surgery is simple, and the transformation is immediate. Smile Trains sustainable model provides training, funding, and resources to empower local doctors in more than 85 developing countries to provide 100 percent-free cleft repair surgery and comprehensive cleft care in their own communities.