At Community Living Australia, we understand the value people with disability provide to our community and we strive to support them to achieve their goals and be valued members of their community.
Perhaps one of the best examples of this is the recent commitment made by Ben and Andrew to improve the life of someone they’ve never met living far beyond their own communities.
In Southeast Asia, many thousands of people are left with disabilities after falling victim to landmines and unexploded bombs despite a concerted effort by governments to defuse them. Many people lose their hands in such incidents, which can have a significant impact on their daily lives.
The Rotary Hands On Project seeks to improve the lives of people who are victims of these tragedies by providing and fitting them with prosthetic hands donated and assembled by organisations and individuals from all over the world.
After assembly, the hands are delivered to recipients by registered volunteers of Rotary Australia World Community Service to countries such as Cambodia, Laos and Sri Lanka.
One such prosthesis was generously donated by a lady from Brisbane before Ben and Andrew, both clients of Community Living Australia, decided to take on the challenge of assembling it.
The hand consists of 34 pieces and takes a considerable amount of time to assemble. Ben and Andrew felt a great sense of achievement once the hand was completed and operational knowing that their efforts would make a massive difference in somebody else’s life.
Sally Charlton, a Community Living Australia and Rotary volunteer, facilitated the assembly process.
‘Ben and Andrew were emotionally moved by the experience,’ Sally said. ‘They were so happy to make a difference in someone’s life, it was the most rewarding and emotional experience.’
In November last year, Sally delivered the hand to a recipient named Chuon in Cambodia and facilitated the fitting process.
Chuon, aged 53, is a farmer, fisherman and home builder with three children and three grandchildren. He lost his left hand to a land mine in 1986.
Chuon was so happy to receive the prosthesis, as well as photos and a letters from Ben and Andrew. He wrote a message back to thank everyone involved and wished everyone ‘good health forever.’
Mark Kulinski, Chief Executive of Community Living Australia commented that, ‘As Community Living Australia focuses on supporting people to live a meaningful life and be valued members of the community, it’s wonderful to see our clients demonstrating the same focus and supporting others to achieve their goals.’
You can learn more about the Rotary Hands On Project on their website, http://www.handsonproject.com.au