Our club member Michael Redding was accompanied by Lorry Rowe (Rotary Club of Flemington) on a trip to central Vietnam where they presented self-propelled tricycle wheelchairs to four young people whose mobility has been restricted through illness or injury. The tricycles cost about A$380. The children are from very poor families and their families could not afford to pay for them. The funds were provided by Werribee Rotary and Lorry.

The tricycles are made in Ho Chi Minh City and transported to central Vietnam. They are easily propelled by pushing the steering column backwards and forwards. They are comfortable, very manoeuvrable and can travel at speeds of up to 10 km per hour on the local roads. The four recipients were Nhan, Thanh, Moi and Khanh.

In Vietnam, people with many types of disability are hidden away, living in their family home and destined to remain there for the rest of their lives. In the Hue area alone, it is estimated there are over 29,000 disabled people, nearly all of whom receive no support.  Among this group are many young people who cannot walk but whose lives would be transformed with a tricycle wheelchair. The big challenge is how to locate where they live.

Michael's Vietnamese friend, Dung, has formed a small team of committed volunteers. Through asking questions to a range of people, the team were able to discover where the four recipients lived. Once the wheelchairs were given to them their lives were immediately transformed. They now have their own mobility and can travel wherever they wish.

The team intends to continue identifying where more young disabled people in the Hue area are living.  Any donated wheelchairs in the future they can distribute to the young people they have located.

Click here to read a full report about the four recipients and the joy they expressed when they were presented with their tricycles.

We owe a great debt of gratitude to Michael and Lorry for their generous humanitarian efforts.