We are happy to announce that our 501(C)3 is approved. This designation will not only be a significant source of credibility for Wheels of Hope but it will also enable donors to withhold their contributions from their applicable taxes.
Ayuba Gufwan is a polio survivor living in Jos Nigeria.
He was given his first wheelchair at the age of 17 he was able to start school and an education which took him through a University Degree.
When he returned to Jos he decided he wanted to start a workshop and advocacy program to help the many polio survivors in the area of Jos. He called this workshop the Handicapped Advocacy and Rehabilitation Center. They build hand crank wheelchairs and give them free to Polio Survivors who.
Otherwise, like Ayuba, would be relegated to a life lived in the dust and degradation of shame, exclusion and poverty. Ayuba’s vision was that one day perhaps all the polio survivors in his region would go to school, get good jobs, marry and enjoy fulfilling and productive lives. He knew this was possible and was committed to living a life in pursuit of his dream.
Ayuba’s vision included a business plan with four central tenets:
- That the wheelchairs he built would be given free of charge to polio survivors.
- That parts and equipment would be procured in Nigeria eliminating the cost of shipping, import fees and customs red tape.
- That all construction would be carried out by Nigerians (several of whom are polio survivors themselves) in Nigeria, assuring jobs and a contribution to the local economy.
- That his wheelchairs would be suitable for the rough Nigerian terrain and constructed to meet the unique needs and capabilities of polio survivors.
Today he has a wife, two healthy little children and drives a car. He loves to make phone calls all over the world to his friends who support the workshop’s wheelchair production and has made several trips to Rotary International conventions here in the states.
Uma is a 15 year-old Nigerian girl.
She is pretty as a picture and not a lot different, emotionally, from any of our granddaughters. There are some other differences, of course – she has never gone to school and her family is not much involved in her life because she is a polio survivor.
Her crippled legs prevent her from doing any work so she can’t help with the family income. She spends most of her day begging in the street with the other polio survivors, but none of that has diminished her smile or her hope to one day go to school, become a doctor and have a family.
This is Uma after she received her wheelchair – about a year ago – see what I mean about her smile. Is this not the picture of a girl who might just get what she hopes out of life.
Well, she is going to school now – the school is 13 miles from her family’s hut, but she can get herself to the bus and from the bus to school every day. She attends regularly and her new found mobility has changed her family’s attitude as well.
Her mother is supportive of her schooling because they can see she will be a financial contributor in the future.