The first ride
– a custom-made wheelchair for children
The situation for children with movement restrictions is often dramatic in Ghana. There is a lack of suitable means to enable these children to move around easily. The way to school alone is not manageable for them.
Access to public infrastructure or education is therefore completely denied to these children without appropriate aids. The floor is then usually the only place where they can stay.
A wheelchair is the only possibility for many children to participate in public life and school lessons. But a normal two-wheeled wheelchair can hardly be steered on the unpaved roads in Ghana, so that the children would still be severely restricted.
One solution to this problem is our three-wheeled wheelchair: the Vanquisher. Translated, Vanquisher means “conqueror” – and that is exactly what it does: overcoming obstacles that restrict the child’s mobility.
Local production of the Vanquisher in Ghana
Normally, so-called tricycles, i.e. three-wheeled wheelchairs, are imported from India and South America. The major disadvantages are the long and not environmentally friendly transport routes by ship and the associated costs. A further problem is the inferior quality, which makes a long-term use of these wheelchairs hardly possible.
These shortcomings, as well as the breakdown of supply chains due to the Corona pandemic, have encouraged us, to look for a local solution.
Together with a company from Kumasi we were able to develop our idea further and now manufacture the Vanquisher locally in Kumasi. This saves time, costs and even CO2.
Furthermore, all the stakeholders involved in the production chain are registered companies, that pay taxes and social security for their exclusively Ghanaian employees.
The production of the Vanquisher children’s wheelchairs
The body of the three-wheeled wheelchairs consists of galvanized round tubes and sheet metal parts, which are purchased locally, in the main industrial area of Kumasi. There, the tubes are also bent directly into the correct shape. The advantage of this is the serial production, so that all “body parts” are uniform.
When all the necessary parts are in the workshop, the actual production begins. This consists of the metal production. This means that the parts must be processed individually and cut, welded and ground with technical know-how, to create a customized tricycle.
After the mobility of the respective wheelchair has been checked and any necessary corrections have been made, it is sent to the paint shop. Body filler is applied to smooth the surface of the Vanquisher and eliminate sharp edges. After that, a first layer of galvanized primer can be sprayed on. Finally, the final coat consists of car paint mixed with a special hardener. This not only gives the tricycle a good look, but also the quality of a car body.
Equipment and delivery
All high quality Vanquishers have the following additional equipment:
- a small tool kit with all the basic parts, so that minor repairs can be carried out. This is especially important for the beneficiaries in rural areas.
- a bicycle air pump
- a small built-in container under the seat or behind the backrest as storage space for transporting everyday objects or, for example, a school bag
The handover of the custom-made Vanquisher always takes place at the child’s place of residence. The child receives a detailed explanation of all the functions of the tricycle and various consultations are held with the immediate environment such as family, friends and teachers.
The Vanquisher as a chance for an independent life
The joy at the handover of the Vanquisher is enormous. For many children, the ride in the three-wheeled wheelchair is the first time they can travel long distances independent.
The mobility gained opens up many opportunities for the children. This is the only way they can take part in school lessons and have the chance to live an independent life.
We have set up a fund for children with physical disabilities. If an emergency occurs, a child needs a Vanquisher, for example, or other aids, then we can help the affected child quickly and unbureaucratically with the resources of the fund.
We ask you from the bottom of our hearts to support this life-changing project! No donation is too small to give the children a future without dependence.
- Vanquisher – 350€
- Walking assistance – 30€
- Proportionate transport costs to bring a child to a hospital for diagnosis – 20€