How have we helped?
The funds were raised by 21st Century Leaders, from the sale of Whatever It Takes products.
StandProud is a U.S not-for-profit charity created to provide international financial support for selected community organisations in developing countries which:
• Provide corrective treatment, locally crafted leg braces, and accompanying rehabilitative services, at no cost to poor families with children who have been disabled by polio or who have similar disabilities, and
• Promote the full integration of disabled persons into society.
• StandProud believes that all physically disabled persons should have access to the orthopaedic equipment they require in order to achieve maximum possible dignity, mobility and independence, and
• A healthy society is one which permits and encourages the full integration of the physically disabled into all of its normal social and economic activities.
Additionally, ACDF, with StandProud support, maintains "rehabilitation homes" adjacent to its brace shops where beneficiaries stay while being treated and learning to use their new equipment. These residential facilities provide an important opportunity for beneficiaries to give each other moral support, gain confidence and reduce self-consciousness.
As there has been a tendency in the Congo to stigmatise and segregate persons with physical disabilities, as well as to minimise their potential to make significant social, cultural and economic contributions, StandProud and ACDF supplement their brace-making activities with an education program in which parents of disabled children are taught the importance of sending them to regular school along with their non-disabled siblings (educational "mainstreaming," as opposed to the segregation of disabled youth and their automatic relegation to vocational curricula) and provide some minimal assistance with the payment of school fees to encourage this.