New system gives mobility to handicapped individuals who lack resources

Gabriel signals his delight to be able to direct his own steps in the trolley device Border Partners' Peter Edmunds designed and built.

Gabriel signals his delight to be able to direct his own steps in the trolley device Border Partners’ Peter Edmunds designed and built.

Peter Edmunds noticed a need and met it in typical Border Partners style: he used his know how and some simple materials to improve life for those who had little. Now his ideas are attracting international attention and could launch a new opportunity in Palomas.

When Peter visited the local special education school in Palomas run by the nonprofit Nuestros Teosoros (Our Treasures), he met people with some fundamental needs–including basic mobility issues. Peter imagined a method to help the clients walk that was based on his past experience of building furniture from plastic pipe.

The trolley he designed is a simple 2 ‘x 4′ frame that’s mounted on smooth rolling casters. A seat-like harness suspends the individual, permitting him or her independent mobility.

The simplest of wheeled chairs costs hundreds of dollars. In the developing world a $400 expense is out of the question. But the materials for the trolleys just cost a bit over $20 dollars, and any skilled builder could put it together, explained Peter Edmunds. A special donation covered the costs of the materials.

Border Partners has already received inquiries from Mexico, South America and Europe asking how to produce the devices. Edmunds’ long range hope is to establish a work shop staffed by persons with handicaps that would build these trolleys. It’s possible, he says, to build many other types of equipment for handicapped persons: special chairs, tables even different types of wheel chairs. They could produce this at a fraction of the cost of the commercial models.

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