WHEELCHAIRS FOR KYRGYZ CHILDREN
A Humanitarian Campaign for Physically Disabled/Wheelchair bound Children of Kyrgyzstan
Initiated by the Office of the President of the Russian Federation and Frank Foundation Child Assistance International (FFCAI)
According to a 2002 Report on “Children and Disability in the Kyrgyz Republic” published by UNICEF Innocenti Research Centre, an estimated 91,000 Kyrgyz citizens were categorized as disabled by the end of 2001. 15,700 or 17% were disabled children under 16 years of age. Approximately 16.7% of these disabled children were diagnosed with infantile cerebral palsy (ICP).
Since 1994 when the Kyrgyz Republic ratified the UN Convention on the Rights of the Child, the government has been making efforts to conform to the convention. However, the government is unable to provide full social support and necessary aid to the majority of families with disabled children and the institutions specifically designated to provide education, care and social services for them. The most serious problems and hurdles they face are as follows:
- Severe shortage of specialized retail stores (selling wheelchairs, hearing aids, etc.) and manufacturers of necessary equipment;
- Prejudice, lack of tolerance and compassion for disabled – there is a lack of educational initiative informing the public (particularly children) of the abilities of disabled.
- Poor educational services resulting in social isolation of disabled children;
- Shortage of knowledgeable teachers and training programs for disabled children
Only a small portion of disabled children have an opportunity to attend or be placed in specialized institutions and to receive the relevant assistance. The majority of disabled children, particularly those from poor families or remote areas, have practically no access to advanced treatment, care and rehabilitation facilities. The corresponding provincial institutions have insufficient finances, maladjusted accommodation, and frequently lack even the basic necessities for normal development of disabled children.
In response to this dilemma, the office of the President of the Russian Federation, under the leadership of Presidential Appointee, the Special Envoy to Kyrgyzstan, Mr. Vladimir Rushailo, in partnership with nonprofit child advocacy organization, Frank Foundation Child Assistance International, have launched a program to address the urgent requirements of the disabled children in Kyrgyzstan. The following needs have been identified and are targeted for project implementation:
1. Mobility Equipment for Children: 90 pediatric wheelchairs are immediately needed for students who lack proper equipment for their well being. The current program seeks to obtain 30 wheelchairs from the USA for transport back to Russia during the professional visit of Mr. Rushailo during his upcoming visit to the USA at the end of November 2010.
2. Specialized Transportation (Buses) for Students: Children confined to wheelchairs, are severely limited by a lack of sufficient transportation. Minibuses specially equipped with mechanisms to raise wheelchairs are requested to enable centers to adequately provide for the children’s’ needs.
3. Contemporary technology and specialized educational opportunities for disabled children: The project strives to encourage disabled youth to fully embrace life by introducing opportunities for them to live enriching and independent lives. Through the latest technological breakthroughs to potential career training and options, FFCAI hopes to develop diverse programs utilizing partnerships with local and international organizations.
FFCAI seeks the support of the public and private sectors to create a viable project with benefits extending to hundreds of disabled children throughout Kyrgyzstan and provide them with the physical, emotional and intellectual support and opportunities they deserve to be self-sufficient and contributing members of a new and strong society. As the first step, FFCAI takes immediate action to launch the program through organizing the donation of 50 pediatric wheelchairs to Kyrgyzstan at the end of 2010. Coordinating this effort with Mr. Vladimir Rushailo’s professional visit to the USA at the end of November 2010, the wheelchairs  will be transported back to Russia, transferred to Kyrgyzstan and delivered to the disabled children who desperately need them – all under the direct supervision of Mr. Rushailo.
This effort is continuing a tradition of cooperation between Mr. Rushailo’s office and FFCAI to benefit disadvantaged children. In July of 2008, we had sent this exact pediatric wheelchair to Mr. Vladimir Borisovich Rushailo as a test/prototype to make sure it was a suitable model for the disabled children in his program. Mr. Rushailo personally transported the wheelchair from the USA to Arkhangelsk Region, where it was given to the Municipal Rehabilitation Center for Experimental Support for Children with Limited Mobility – a facility under the auspices of the City of Arkhangelsk Department of Education and the State Physiological Clinical Institute of Northern Russia Medical University. The Director could not have been more pleased with the unit and approved it immediately. Ten additional wheelchairs were purchased and delivered to the center over the course of the next few years.
In his most recent presidential appointment as Special Representative of the Russian President for Relations with Kyrgyzstan, Mr. Rushailo expands his focus to include support for disabled children in Bishkek and other regions throughout the Republic of Kyrgyzstan. Mr. Rushailo seeks to replicate the humanitarian initiative for marginalized Kyrgyz youth by using the successful model and infrastructure he developed in the Arkhangelsk Region. Frank Foundation is honored to be part of this global effort.
Deleted specific information on list of 50 children for privacy reasons
The current educational program continues a strong tradition of democratic partnerships and international sharing for a common goal. FFCAI extends its gratitude to Adoption Options and its expansive network of generous and compassionate families for its continuous support. The current program allows us to collectively work together to directly benefit 50 specific children throughout Kyrgyzstan and provide them with a basic tool – a wheelchair – so that they may begin their journey to becoming independent, self-sufficient and contributing members of a new and strong society.
Excel Kidz Chair: The Excel Kidz Chair features a bright yellow frame with a smiley face logo on the breathable nylon upholstery. Footplates are composite to stay cooler. Also features easy flip-back arms. Thick, comfortable calf pads on elevated leg rests. Tires have deep tread for playing outside and inside. Anti-tippers are included. This chair is hemi-capable with dual axles. 250lb weight capacity.