Volunteering through giving knowledge and empowerment. And some walking sticks.
Sandy LeBlanc and Physiotherapist colleague Tanya Owen spent just over a month volunteering in Montserrat in 2011. We aimed to educate and empower health and care staff (as well as the people of the island), rather than simply provide a bit of treatment.
We were pleased that people embraced the start of a wave of disability rights, with a support and advocacy group founded by people with disabilities while we were there. Tanya then wrote a report for the Ministry of Health, making recommendations for community-based rehab on the island. Monty will hold a special place in our hearts for a very long time.
Read here about the story involving the late Mr Adrain Rogers, from Sandy’s hometown in Mississippi. He crafted a load of walking sticks for Sandy to take to people on the island. Such an inspirational man. This amazing experience also highlighted how important it is to make the most of what is available, and to work as that all-important team. No matter where you are in the world.
Duct Tape Surfing (Perhaps a harness could be safer, but got to admire this determination and creativity!)
Wheelchair Diving. It is about the experience, not the mechanism or perceived limitations. Powerful message.
Break Dancing - adaptation of power, strength and creativity. These guys are awesome.