Wheelchair Mission Project continues to give to community
The Young Women's Christian Association of American Samoa(YWCA-AS) continues to distribute wheelchairs, canes and crutches to those in need, from their office at Tasi Street, Lion’s Park, Tafuna.
The Wheelchair Mission Project started on April 12, 2012 with a brief presentation ceremony that was attended by the Governor, representatives of the American Wheelchair Mission, government officials and organizations that have already received wheelchairs.
The YWCA-AS was selected by Congressman Faleomavaega's Office to assess the needs of our community especially after the events of September 29, 2009, and this is one of the most needed services presented to him as a result of the survey.
According to the YWCA Vice President, Mrs. Suavai Satele-Tagaloa, they found there was a great need for wheelchairs.
"In addition to those that lost their wheelchairs in the tsunami, there were children that outgrew their chairs or chairs that were old and no longer safe to use, others are having so much strain on their legs as an ailment from diabetes and obesity," she continued.
Through the efforts of Congressman Faleomavaega, the YWCA of American Samoa was brought to the attention of the American Wheelchair Mission (AWM) and so enhanced negotiations for this mission.
Its effects were initiated just before the Flag Day festivities and the group was here to witness great entertainment and fautasi races here on island.
After a series of emails and telephone calls, wheelchairs are coming to American Samoa and will be distributed to government and non-government organizations. YWCA -AS is now the sole NGO to distribute and to be held accountable for the container full of brand new wheelchairs, sizes 22, 20 and 18.
Government entities to receive wheelchairs include; the Department of Health in Manu'a, Territorial Administration on Aging, Vocational Rehabilitation. The only Non-government organization that will receive wheelchairs is Hope House at Fatuoaiga.
A group representing the American Wheelchair Mission arrived on island on April 5, 2012, led by the President, Mr. Chris Lewis. The wheelchairs were presented to the government on the 12th, with home visits on April 13-14, 2012.
The group has since left and the container of wheelchairs is here, so the giveaways are still in progress.
According to Mrs. Matagi Maugaotega, who has had diabetes for more than 20 years, “Relaxing in a wheelchair while