Greetings, and happy Friday!

Our mission statement says we transform lives, but until recently we have not had way to measure or define what “transformation” means. As a result FWM has developed what we call our Transformation Study, which is a multi-year investigation following the lives of 600 wheelchair recipients in Uganda, Vietnam and Peru. The recipients were carefully selected to represent the various disability conditions we serve. FWM staff member Ramona Dutton is in charge of the implementation of the Transformation Study and serves as our Field Study & Logistics Analyst. This week, Ramona is in Uganda visiting with our sociologists in the field and meeting some of our Transformation Study recipients. Below is a story from her journey.

I want to share the story of one girl whose story has challenged me personally. Sandra is a bright young woman who lives in a rural village outside of Kampala. She and her sister, Harriet, are inseparable. 2 years ago she was being transported by a motorcycle taxi when they collided with a large transport vehicle. She was run over by the car and is virtually paralyzed on the left side of her body. With some physical therapy exercises, she is regaining some strength. Each day, she practices walking using a stick or walker to travel 10 feet from her home to a nearby tree. This is so exhausting for her that she cannot turn around and go back; they bring her Gen_2 wheelchair to her and wheel her back inside or around the home.

Sandra is brave and works hard. It takes her 5 minutes to make the 10-foot journey.  Her face is concentrated and her movements slow. When she arrives at her goal, she smiles brightly and laughs with a sense of delight that is truly infectious. She is not angry or bitter about her circumstances. In fact, she’s overjoyed with the gift of a wheelchair and takes pleasure in what she does have.

Sandra uses her Gen_2 wheelchair to go to church every Sunday. The church is located 1 mile away and it takes 1 hour for her to get there. Her sister or mother pushes her.

I am challenged by Sandra’s amazing attitude. Her joy doesn’t come from material things or fortunate circumstances; her joy comes from knowing the love of God and the love of her family. I too want that kind of attitude, that joy that is resilient through all of life’s challenges. 


This is a beautiful story of perseverance and joy. It is because of YOU that this story has been written. Thank you for providing Sandra and hundreds of thousands like her the joy and love only family and God can provide!



Don Schoendorfer


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