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The big day finally arrived! On 6th May 2019 almost 300 used wheelchairs, collected by members of the Rotary Club Erlangen over many months, arrived in a 40-foot container in South Africa and could be unloaded in Johannesburg. How did this happen? Until 2014, Mr. Bachmeier worked as deputy headmaster at the vocational secondary school in Ansbach. In this way the information that the Rotary Club Northcliff is looking for used wheelchairs within the scope of aid projects, came to the attention of the Rotary Club Erlangen. Members of the club searched the medical supply stores in the Erlangen-Nuremberg region – and found what they were looking for. In numerous emails between Dr. Hadenfeldt, the president of the Rotary Club Northcliff and Mr. Bosch (at that time President-Elect of the Rotary Club Erlangen and former ministerial representative of the vocational high schools) the large-scale project took shape and after a whole year the time had come and the long-awaited wheelchairs could be handed over to grateful recipients. It was the first time that wheelchairs from Germany found their way to Johannesburg. So far, more than 30,000 wheelchairs have been transported to South Africa in the project supported by Rotary International and FEM (Federated Employer’s Mutual Assurance Company).
One only realizes how much a wheelchair changes a life when one is lucky enough to be there when wheelchairs are handed over to people in need. Especially in the rural regions of South Africa, a wheelchair can mean the beginning of a new life for many people with walking disabilities. We hope very much that many more wheelchairs will find their way from Germany to South Africa. We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved, especially the members of the Rotary Club Erlangen, who contributed to this success story, despite the hard work involved in this project.
If you would like to support this project, please contact the Rotary Club Northcliff at www.northcliffrotary.co.za