Nigeria has more polio than anywhere in the world. There are uncounted tens of thousands of children and adults who spend their lives crawling on the ground. Billions of dollars have been given for polio eradication by the Gates Foundation, Rotary International, and others. The good news is that the last 3 cases of polio in Nigeria were in August 2016. The bad news is that very little is being done to help the tens of thousands of survivors. Most are hidden away, so that few people realize how huge the need is.
Dr. Ron Rice, a retired Presbyterian pastor, and his Nigerian partner Ayuba Gufwan, who walks on his hands from polio, have built and donated over 26,000 wheelchairs to Nigeria's polio survivors. They have their own shop in Jos, Nigeria, with 60 employees, where they build these 3-wheeled, hand-pedaled "tricycles" out of bicycle parts for $150. Five of the employees are polio survivors themselves. This is by far the largest wheelchair ministry in all of Nigeria, a country that is almost two thirds the population of the U.S.
For $150, a child's life is absolutely transformed. Now they can go to school. Now they have hope and a future. Adults can now get vocational training or an apprenticeship, become self-supporting, and not have to resort to begging. Wheelchairs are given to both Christians and Muslims. In a country frequently torn by tribal and religious violence, Christians giving wheelchairs to Muslims is many times a witness for peace and reconciliation. Even employees in the shop are both Christian and Muslim.
The wheelchairs are given freely in the love of Jesus, for Jesus has taught us to have compassion on the poor, the crippled and the blind. However, the need is huge. At almost every wheelchair distribution, more disabled people come whose name was not on the list, and have to go home heartbroken without a wheelchair.
Wheelchairs for Nigeria is totally dependent on compassionate and generous people like you. Won't you help change the lives of these children and adults? For information on how to give a tax-deductible gift, visit the How to Help page.
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