(Written by President Des)
On Wednesday 8 March, Our guest speaker was Michael Redding, who is a member of the Rotary Club of Werribee. He came to address the Club on a project about which he is very passionate – Wheelchairs for Vietnam.
Michael’s first visit to Vietnam was in 2010 and this was to be the start of a life changing journey for him. While he was there Michael made friends with Nguyen Cuu Dung, a remarkable man who taught himself English from a dictionary and also speaks Dutch, French and a little German. His 5 children have all been university educated. During his visit in 2010 Michael became aware of the need for wheelchairs for adults and young people with disabilities. His friend, Cuu Dung, introduced Michael to Nguyen Hong Anh who has a role within a Vietnamese web based NGO Charity which has become the vehicle for identifying recipients and purchasing wheelchairs.
The wheelchairs for kids are made in Scarborough, WA by volunteer retirees mostly using recycled parts and costing $200. The distribution of wheelchairs to children is managed by the Kianh Foundation in Hoi An. The tricycle style wheelchairs for adults are made in Ho Chi Minh City. The cost of an adult wheelchair is $300.
Members of the Rotary Club of Wyndham were thrilled to see film footage of a young Vietnamese boy, Coi, actually using the wheelchair that they had purchased for him.