Israeli Wheelchairs Give New Mobility Opportunities to Disabled Guatemalan Children
When staff from the Israeli Embassy in Guatemala saw an opportunity to help local special needs children who lacked the funding to purchase adequate wheelchairs, they reached out to their contacts in Israel to see if they could do anything to help. In response, MASHAV, the Israeli International Development Agency, partnered with Wheelchairs of Hope to donate 270 wheelchairs to local children. The wheelchairs are designed by an Israeli couple, Pablo Kaplan and Chava Rotshtein, under the advisement of ALYN Hospital pediatric and adolescent rehabilitation staff, and are specially tailored for children’s needs, with specifications of being low cost, lightweight, and colorful. Israeli Ambassador to Guatemala Matanya Cohen officially delivered the devices, and Guatemalan President Jimmy Morales praised the effort and the overall strong bond between the two countries. Wheelchairs of Hope has had a far-reaching impact, with its durably designed product having reached thousands of children throughout 17 developing countries. It is currently developing adaptive technologies to benefit older children and those with more severe disabilities.