The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints has donated 138 wheelchairs and 101 other mobility devices to the National Council for Persons With Disabilities (NCPD).
NCPD President, Merphilus James, has invited persons in need of the devices to contact the organization.
“In the past, donations of wheelchairs were received and what was happening was that various agencies were just giving them out to people. We have realised through a team of specialists from the church,rhat persons need to be assessed, properly fitted so that the right wheelchair can be assigned to them,” James told St Lucia Times.
According to the NCPD President, more damage can be caused if persons do not receive the properly sized wheelchair for them.
As a result, he said it is important that people come in to be assessed so the NCPD can determine what size and type of wheelchair can best assist them.
Donald Hart of Latter Day Saints Charities said that the objective behind the donation of wheelchairs and mobility devices was to improve the self-reliance of the recipients.
“Our goal is really two-fold – one, to enhance the quality of life and two – to help their self-reliance, because by having mobility it enables them to be more self-reliant,” Hart told St Lucia Times.
The Latter Day Saints Charities official disclosed that an important part of the initiative is the training component.
He said three specialists are currently here to train three locals to administer the programme when the Latter Day Saints representatives leave Saint Lucia.
“They are learning how to do an assessment where we determine if an individual qualifies for a wheelchair- then if they qualify, what they need and then once the type is determined, what are the adjustments needed for the individual to give them many years of service,” Hart stated.
He told St Lucia Times that the wheelchairs have user manuals and tools so that the devices can be maintained.
Hart said recipients also receive training.
He revealed that three types of wheelchairs are on offer – standard, active and all-terrain.
“The standard wheelchair collapses, so that fits in the trunk of a car. The active wheelchair does not collapse nor does the all-terrain because of the structure, but by pushing a pin on both sides of the wheels, the wheels can come off reducing the volume to make it more transportable.”
According to Hart, the chairs are all designed by Latter Day Saints Charities, the humanitarian arm of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints.
in 2017 Latter Day Saints Charities aided over 49, 000 people in 41 countries by providing them with mobility devices, he disclosed.
Hart said the organisation’s representatives are all volunteers who assist others out of the ‘pure joy of service.’