Wheelchairs may seem like simple gifts. But to a disabled or wounded individual, a wheelchair is often a life-changing gift of love.
When Hiba* in Syria received a wheelchair from CAM contacts, she cried and exclaimed, “You gave me back my leg.” Hiba had lost her leg to an amputation. She thanked our contacts and said the wheelchair would change her life.
Akeem, who is disabled and requires extra care, lives in Yemen. His elderly father shoulders the heavy responsibility of caring for his family of twelve. When CAM contacts provided a wheelchair for Akeem, his father said, “I was praying that God would send people who could help me with . . . a wheelchair for my son. I thank God, who guided you today to support my family.”
Akeem told our contacts, “I always wanted to go out in front of the house to get some fresh air, but I couldn’t. After [you] provided me with a wheelchair, I can do this easily.”
New hope for the handicapped
Hiba and Akeem represent thousands of handicapped people who dream of moving around on their own. But without supplies like wheelchairs, this dream rarely becomes reality.
Many have no choice but to lie in bed for hours. Some move around by crawling on their hands and knees, at times wearing flip flops on their hands to protect them from the hard ground. Others depend solely on family members to carry them wherever they need to go. This puts strain on parents and siblings.
A wheelchair is often life-changing for a disabled child or adult. “The wheelchair is the window or door for the disabled to communicate with the outside world,” says a CAM contact in Syria. Wheelchairs allow people to better perform daily tasks and interact with others around them, easing their caretakers’ heavy loads. A doctor in Romania said that people often respond to the gift of a wheelchair with “the feeling of coming back to life.”
Wheelchairs also help to restore dignity and respect for the handicapped, who are looked down on by much of society. In Syria, a contact said, “[Wheelchair recipients] feel that their humanity and dignity are preserved.” Wheelchairs help lessen recipients’ dependence on others and give them a sense of freedom.
At a glance:
Average cost per wheelchair: $130
Goal for 2022: 3,000 wheelchairs
Countries of distribution: Romania, Israel, Yemen, Syria, Jordan, Kyrgyzstan, and others
In Syria, years of fighting left thousands of people with wounds and handicaps. One contact reported, “During our visit to shelters or slums, we met children who lost their legs in the war due to bombings or mines.”
Ahmed is one war victim. He lost his legs when a bomb exploded in his community. Ahmed was sent to a neighboring country for treatment but had no family or friends to care for him. He resorted to crawling everywhere he went.
Ahmed was overjoyed to receive a wheelchair from CAM contacts. “He . . . shared how he regained his hope because he felt like he was not . . . a burden, but had the freedom to move around and live, what seemed to him, a normal life,” said our contacts.
Words from Psalm 147 say, “[The Lord] gathereth together the outcasts of Israel. He healeth the broken in heart, and bindeth up their wounds.” These verses show God’s heart for people like the handicapped, “the outcasts” in many societies.
Throughout this year, we would like to send wheelchairs to Romania, the Middle East, and other places. If you want to help show God’s heart of compassion to the disabled in providing wheelchairs, your support will be a blessing.
Christian Aid Ministries | February 2022
*Names in this mailing are changed to protect identities.