Humanitarian Outreach

Church Donation Provides Mobility and Independence to Guatemalans

Training also given to doctors and physiotherapists to assist wheelchair users

Hundreds of children and adults will benefit from 575 specialized wheelchairs and 189 canes, walkers and crutches The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints delivered on Friday, January 27, 2023, to Fundabiem Guatemala.

Fundabiem provides comprehensive habilitation and rehabilitation services to Guatemalans. The wheelchairs, which are adjusted to each person’s needs, will help patients with physical disabilities in Fundabiem’s 19 rehabilitation centers gain mobility and self-sufficiency.

A Fundabiem patient in her new wheelchair. She is accompanied by her parents and volunteer members of the Church, who provided the training in Guatemala, January 27, 2023. 2023 by Intellectual Reserve, Inc. All rights reserved.
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Health efforts are a priority for the Church Humanitarian Services in the region. During the last four years, the Church has collaborated with several Central American organizations to help more than 2,000 wheelchair users.

From January 23 to January 26, volunteers — certified physiotherapists and a technician — showed 30 Fundabiem professionals how to help each patient adapt to their model of wheelchair. The wheelchairs come in a variety of models, including standard, active, all-terrain and cross-terrain.

Local Latter-day Saint leader Edin Rosales praised the work that Fundabiem carries out for disabled persons in Guatemala. He said these wheelchairs and devices will bless entire communities.

“For the Church, the family and [service to] others have always been a priority,” Rosales said. “We know that with the training and knowledge that has been taught, they can share and develop it and thus serve others as Jesus Christ taught.”

Ms. Tania Samayoa, director of Fundabiem Guatemala, said she is grateful to the Church of Jesus Christ for the training and the donation.

“Fundabiem has already identified the patients who will benefit from the donation,” Samayoa said. “In [the] coming weeks, the wheelchair or the appropriate device for their development will be delivered.”

Shirly C. is one of those recipients. Until now, she has used a borrowed wheelchair that does not fit her needs. She expressed her deep gratitude to God and the Church of Jesus Christ for this gift.

“I want to keep going and show what I can do,” Shirly said. “This wheelchair will be the instrument that will allow me to achieve my goals.”

This article, including a video, was originally published on Spanish Newsroom.

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