Wheel Power

Cilsa presentationBack in June I posted a blog entry which mentioned a little boy in San Marcos village whose mother had spent several years trying unsuccessfully to extract a wheelchair from local social services. Through a contact of a friend of another contact of another friend (this is Argentina!), we managed to establish a link with the Córdoba branch of a national organisation, Cilsa, who are involved in various disability-based projects, including providing wheelchairs and other equipment. We then had to present a pile of paperwork, documents, measurements, and photos to prove that Isma is entitled to a wheelchair, and to determine the size that he needed. Last week we received a message to say that the chair was ready, and to invite Isma and his mum to come to a group presentation today.

Isma with his mumOn Monday night I travelled out to San Marcos. Yesterday morning I visited the family and arranged the trip. Today we set off early to catch the bus to Cordoba. Funny the little things that one doesn’t think about… I hadn’t imagined that Isma has probably never been to a big city before. He loved the buses and lorries, and he laughed and laughed when we took him on the escalators in the bus station! Cilsa were giving out equipment to about twenty recipients and they had made a little event out of it, with celebratory cake and music. Our wheelchair was the smallest in the line. Isma seemed quite pleased with it, and I would estimate that it will take him all of about five minutes to figure out how to make it work. Having saved his mum’s back on one hand, we have probably given her a whole new set of things to think about, starting with child-proofing the house, and issuing shin-guards to the rest of the family.

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