"Gift of a lifetime" offers freedom, and a chance for education to club-footed youth.
The Plainfield, Illinois-based not-for-profit organization New Life for Haiti recently donated a wheelchair to a first grader with clubfeet named Jonathan. The wheelchair is giving him the ability to move comfortably on his own for the first time in his life. Jonathan now has more freedom of movement, and less pain from the wheelchair which was purchased using dedicated funds given by two donors in southern Illinois.
Marfranc, Haiti, is an impoverished village where villagers have benefited from New Life for Haiti's unceasing efforts to provide education, medical attention, and to improve the overall quality of life. During an annual one-week medical clinic, volunteer medical professionals met Jonathan for the first time, and determined to do everything they could to help him. To alleviate the need for his father to carry him to and from school every day, priority was given to getting Jonathan a good wheelchair. During the same visit, doctors determined that, of the two kinds of clubfeet, the kind which Jonathan suffered from was indeed, correctable.
For the wheelchair to arrive in Marfranc was no easy feat. Through the work of a volunteer, the wheelchair was donated by a medical supply company, shipped from southern Illinois to Chicago, driven to Ft. Wayne, Indiana, then to Miami with other Haiti-bound supplies. The chair traveled by boat to Port au Prince, driven to the southern Haiti city of Les Cayes, and finally conveyed over the mountains to Marfranc. In mid March, the wheelchair was presented to Jonathan in front of his classmates - all were understandably in awe, having never seen a device of this nature in an area so poor and remote.
Later this year, an American surgeon - who has graciously donated his time and services - will perform Jonathan's surgery, though funds are needed to cover costs associated with this procedure.
About New Life for Haiti
New Life for Haiti is an approved 501c3 charity, whose mission is to give children a chance at a future, to meet the urgent needs of families, to foster new economic opportunities, and to influence cultural thinking toward a sustainable change within the Grande Anse River Valley on the southern peninsula of Haiti. Since its inception in 2006, the organization has built several schools, helped farmers with seed after widespread flooding, and rebuilt many homes after the 2010 earthquake. New Life for Haiti's child sponsorship program allows children to attend school and supplies necessary items like food, clothing, and books. To partner with New Life for Haiti by donating, sponsoring a child, or joining a Haiti work trip with us, visit www.newlifeforhaiti.org, like on Facebook, and follow on Twitter, @NewLifeForHaiti.