On Tuesday, November 27th, the Embassy of the Republic of China on Taiwan handed over 150 wheelchairs and mobility equipment for persons with disabilities. Special Envoy for Women and Children, Kim Simplis-Barrow, in addressing those gathered at the site for the Inspiration Center located at mile 2 and a half on the George Price Highway, explained that the donation comes at an opportune time as the country prepares to celebrate the International Day of Persons with Disabilities on December 3rd. The celebration will take place under the theme "Removing Barriers to create an Inclusive Society for all."
The Special Envoy noted that organizations like the Belize Association for Diverse Abilities, CARE Belize, Special Olympics and NARCIE will be looking to raise awareness on people living with disabilities and to advocate for full inclusion, mobility and access to necessary equipment for persons with disabilities. She noted that mobility devices and wheelchairs are always on high demand and that them 150 that were donated will be distributed to persons across the country.
The donation comes through an organization, Hope Haven International, which employs persons with disabilities to assemble the mobility devices. Coming in at a cost of 50 thousand dollars, the devices will be distributed to persons like R.J. Murillo, Ashley Meighan, Nazuri Hernadez, Joshua Aldana and Halimi Awe, all who have mobility needs.
For his part, Ambassador of China on Taiwan, David Wu explained that this was the second time that wheelchairs were being donated to the Special Envoy. He said that the work being done was worthwhile since he saw the appreciation of parents and children during the first donation. He added that the Embassy has donated 200 thousand U.S. dollars to the Inspiration Center, 100 thousand dollars of which has already been disbursed and the additional 100 thousand to be disbursed in due course. He commended the work of Simplis -Barrow explaining that the Taiwanese Government became involved in the project since August of 2011 when she visited Taiwan to seek assistance for the project. He said that from that time, the project was identified as a worthwhile on.
Aside from the wheelchair donation, the Special Envoy also received a donation of 10 thousand dollars from the staff of Belize Telemedia Limited, 5 thousand dollars from the Chairman of the Chinese Association as a result of fundraiser with acrobats held earlier this year and, 2 thousand dollars from Alex Chang, a member of the Chinese community in Belize.