Since the beginning of November, Motivation Romania Foundation has been directing funds from the SMS donation campaign for offering free wheelchairs adapted to people with mobility disabilities in Romania. The campaign consists in sending an SMS of 2 euros/month, with the text ACTIV, at short number 8844 (in Romania only).
For every 50 text messages sent, Motivation Romania Foundation donates a reconditioned wheelchair to a person with mobility disabilities in the country. By involving people, Motivation Romania Foundation aims to cover 30% of the total value needed to support, each year, over 1,000 wheelchairs for children and adults with mobility disabilities.
“If in May-October, in the context of implementing measures to protect against the spread of coronavirus, we had to direct campaign funds to meet the urgent needs of people with disabilities, by donating health care products, from November we return to the initial destination of the campaign. Children and adults with disabilities in Romania still need wheelchairs adapted to regain their independence and to have access to an active life. Through the Wheelchair Fund we do this every year – we donate over 1,000 personalized wheelchairs to children and adults who were either born with a disability or acquired it as a result of a car accident, diving, falling from a height “, said Cristian Ispas, general director of Motivation Romania Foundation.
The motto of the campaign “Some shoes change the story! So are wheelchairs! ” it refers to the right of persons with disabilities to live freely and independently. Just as a pair of shoes must be suitable for every story lived – an anniversary or a hike in the mountains, so must the wheelchair fit the lifestyle or environment in which the user lives.
The Wheelchair Fund project is developed by Motivation Romania Foundation in collaboration with international partners, and consists of importing quality used wheelchairs, reconditioning and delivering them to people who need them. This whole process has an average cost of 100 euros/wheelchair.
In Romania, the public health system covers, once every 3 years, the cost of a low quality wheelchair, unsuitable for the skills and needs of most users. The World Health Organization considers the wheelchair “a vital component of rehabilitation […] it must meet the individual requirements of the user and the environment in which he lives” (WHO, International Perspectives on Spinal Cord Injury, 2013, p. Ix).
The short number 8844 is obtained through donatie.ro application, a project of the Association for Community Relations. This is valid in the mobile telephony networks Orange Romania, Digi Mobil, Telekom Romania, Vodafone Romania.
The SMS donation campaign was outlined within the project “8 hours over the program for a good cause” of the Bucharest Community Foundation, together with a group of specialist volunteers who continue to support the organization during the campaign.