2014 Christmas Newsletter
On Oct. 22, 2014, 218 wheelchairs were presented at Awka, capital of Anambra State, sponsored by the Sir Emeka Offor Foundation, a generous Nigerian foundation committed to eradicating polio and assisting polio survivors. One was Beautiful Gate's 10,000th wheelchair! The foundation is funding 2000 wheelchairs to be distributed throughout Nigeria. This is the first significant Nigerian financial support ever received in the 15 years that Beautiful Gate has been building and donating wheelchairs. In the photos below, Sir Emeka Offor is in the red cap. On the right, Ayuba Gufwan addresses the large crowd. The former US Ambassador to Nigeria is on Sir Emeka Offor's right.
The Coronation of a Chief
Ayuba Gufwan is the first disabled man ever turbaned a traditional ruler in Nigerian history. He was titled "Makaman Langai." Langai is the name of the village. Generations ago the Makaman was responsible for evenly dividing the spoils of war. He was honored for freely giving wheelchairs to the disabled. Also highly unusual, Ayuba is not from this tribe. They wanted to honor the fact that he does not favor his own tribe, so common in Africa, but gives without favoritism to the disabled in every tribe.
White Canes and Digital Recorders
On Nov. 3rd, Ron Rice gave 50 digital voice recorders and 20 white canes to the blind students at the University of Jos. Earlier 35 canes were given at the Gindiri School for the Blind. In the lower right photo, the president of the Blind Students Association is expressing gratitude. The university event was featured on TV news and several radio stations. The canes are brought from the US ($19.50) and the recorders from China ($17.00).
New Shop Up and Running
Beautiful Gate has moved into their long awaited new shop! The old shop was much too small and in an unsafe area. Most welding was done outside, losing over 40 days work each year during rainy season. Special appreciation goes to those who made generous designated gifts for the purchase of the property across from the University in May 2012 and the 2 years of construction. Work continues on the prosthetics shop. Special thanks to Carol Watson, CPA, Ron's sister, who photographed the move just before her return to Seattle. She was on her second trip to upgrade BG accounting.
FLASH! On Nov. 29th, Ayuba Gufwan won his party's nomination for a seat in the 24 member House of Assembly of Plateau State (pop. 4-5 million). The PDP is the state's dominant party. The election is in February. The position is part-time, but would allow Ayuba to bring benefits to all disabled of Plateau.
Please consider a generous Christmas gift to Wheelchairs for Nigeria. Where in the world can you totally transform a child's life for $150? Give online or send your check to Wheelchairs for Nigeria, 1542 Palm Ave SW. Seattle, WA 98116. You can also view the 37-minute video of the highlight of Ron Rice's Oct-Nov trip to Nigeria (his 21st).