There was joy and gratitude at the Disabled without Borders Organization in Ramallah, West Bank when 40 wheelchairs donated by the Palestinian Children’s Relief Fund (PCRF) were delivered.
With a shy smile, Ikhlas Al-Barghouthy carefully rose up from her rusty old iron wheelchair and settled comfortably into a brand new chair. Ikhlas is an active woman who regularly exercises at the Disabled Sports Union in Ramallah. Her old wheelchair caused severe pains in her hands and back, sometimes deterring her from exercising or leaving her home in Kobar. “When it rains, it is difficult to go out. Sometimes I just never leave the house,” Ikhlas says.
Disabled without Borders Organization aims at improving the living standards of the disabled and helping them become active members of society.
The chairman and one of the founders of Disabled without Borders, Attorney Mohammad Barakat, has a deep belief in the organization’s mission and its capacity to improve the conditions of people with disabilities. Being disabled himself, he understands very well the difficulties people with disabilities go through everyday.
Many lives changed by wheelchair distribution
Safia Ali and Fawzi Afalqa, other beneficiaries, share Ikhlas’ problems. “My current chair is very heavy and hard to maneuver,” says Safia, a graduate in computer science who lives in Salfeet. She says the new wheelchair means a lot less trouble for her to attend computer workshops.
Neglecting the handicapped in Palestine leaves many devastated, unproductive and helpless. Using public services like transportation is out of the question for Fawzi, Safia and Ikhlas.
“I want more support from governmental and non-governmental organizations,” pleads Fawzi from Beit Surik. “We are marginalized and neglected,” he says. “We fight for our basic rights, such as transportation, job opportunities and education. We have great potential but little support.”
Thanks to the recent shipment, the wheelchairs can help life become a little bit easier for 40 Palestinians in need. In the past year, ANERA has delivered more than 450 wheelchairs, in cooperation with the Palestine Children’s Relief Fund, to the West Bank and Gaza as part of its in-kind program.