The story takes place in Zambia, Africa, where APTERS (Appropriate Paper Technology), an amazing team of people with disabilities works long hours to build mobility aids out of cardboard to help children with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, birth injuries or polio... The mobility aid devices are custom-made for every single child as a support for their treatment and rehabilitation.
On average, APTERS changes the lives of over 380 children per year by providing them with affordable mobility aids.
What we do not realize is the challenges this team is going through everyday as disabled people to keep this beautiful project alive.
Just as a basic example: The transport to and from work.
Before reaching work everyday Kenneth, Darius and the others spend over 2 hours in public transport, holding onto their crutches while waiting for the bus and hoping to find a seat in the front (by the driver) to have enough space for their artificial legs and crutches.
The walk from and to the bus stop on uneven ground is also long and tiring, especially during the rainy season when they get soaked and often slip and fall.
The team also struggles to deliver the mobility aids to the families' homes and to transport the art&craft they make to generate income to their retailing places (such as markets).
My project is to raise sufficient funds to import a second hand minivan from Japan for APTERS before the next rainy season (November 2015).
I want to buy a second hand vehicle, preferably imported directly from Japan as vehicles found in Zambia are very often badly maintained and in poor condition.
It will be Kenneth, the project manager who has one good leg who will be driving, so the minivan needs to be automatic.
In parallel with this project, I am discussing with fuel providers and car maintenance professionals so they can help in alleviating the operating costs of the car.
It is difficult to determine the exact amount to be raised as second hand vehicle prices vary constantly. So we will only know the exact cost of the vehicle once we actually purchase it. However, I estimate the price to be around 8 000 to 9 000 EUR.
As an example: the importation of a Toyota Hiace from 2003 with 100 000 km would cost today :
Purchase price (in Japan): 5130 EUR
Shipping to Dar Es Salaam port : 1260 EUR
to Lusaka (by road) : 1620 EUR
Taxes: APTERS is exempted as they are registered as an Association of people with disabilities.
Total price: 8010 EUR
The reason I have set the project amount to 6750 EUR is to give us a better chance of success for this fundraising. Indeed, if the target is not met or exceeded before 60 days, the project is cancelled and the donors refunded.
I think that 6750 EUR is an easier target to achieve and great amount to secure towards the purchase the minivan.
Realistically we want to reach 8 000 to 9 000 EUR ; so please do not hesitate to go bananas and exceed the target!!
If your generosity goes beyond expectations and we raise more money than needed, this is awesome!
It will allow us to:
1. Get a better quality minivan
2. Adapt the minivan to the needs of APTERS: i.e: install a roof rack to carry big loads or big quantities of donated cardboard.