Monday, November 29, 2010

Deseret International Charities -- A Week of Wheelchair Donations

At Songino District's 11th Khoroo – Deseret International Charities presented nine wheelchairs to individuals in a ceremony at the khoroo (government) offices.

This wheelchair recipient was carried into the wheelchair
ceremony at Songino's 11th Khoroo by a dear friend
She was delighted with her new wheelchair!

 A blessing for this woman!

Later that week, we traveled to Erdenet City where Deseret International Charities presented wheelchairs to 14 disabled children at the Department for Children under the Governor of Orkhon Aimag.  It was a   wonderful ceremony.  It was very well planned by the director of the Center.  All but three of the children attended to receive their wheelchairs.  It was really touching to see the children in their wheelchairs.  One little boy recited a poem he wrote about his mother and he later was so thrilled with his wheelchair that he zoomed all around the room.

It's hard to imagine how difficult life is for parents who have to carry their children everywhere they go and for children who can't walk and play like other children.  Many adults must feel liberated to receive a wheelchair for their children and many children must feel liberated to have a way to get around by themselves.

Some of the disabled children in their new wheelchairs

One young man receiving a wheelchair
President Tserenbat, who is Darkhan District President, accompanied us and made some remarks at the ceremony. A couple of TV reporters interviewed him and he did a great job of explaining Deseret International Charities' five initiatives and that DIC is sponsored by donations from members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints worldwide.  President Tserenbat is well known and well respected in Erdenet and everyone seems to look up to him.  The ceremony was covered by three local TV stations and was on the evening and morning news for each channel.
Darkhan District President, President Tserenbat, being interviewed by a couple of TV reporters
Video of a little boy zooming around in his new wheelchair!


Following the ceremony, we took the center director and another staff member to lunch with President Tserenbat and  group became good friends. 

After lunch we delivered wheelchairs to the remaining three children in their homes. It is always a tender experience to give a wheelchair to someone, but it is especially sweet to give one to a disabled child.

This boy receives tender care from his younger sister
This little boy is actually 15 years old.  His younger sister cares for him during the day while their mother works.  We felt heart ache for her as we noticed her placid, expressionless face and realized that she probably stays at home for hours caring for her invalid brother, and that she is probably sacrificing her education in order to care for him.

Grandmother caring for invalid granddaughter
This duty-bound grandmother cares full time in a one-room apartment for the needs of her disabled granddaughter.  The woman's daughter, who is the little girl's mother, married and moved out, leaving the child in her grandmother's care.  After we presented the granddaughter with a new wheelchair, we were just walking out the door when Richard told the grandmother that she would be blessed for her service to her granddaughter.  When Azzaya translated his words to the grandmother, the woman sobbed.

President Tserenbat and a khoroo (local government) official carrying a wheelchair to a wheelchair recipient

In Ekhtsalool Bag, in Erdenet, we presented wheelchairs to five more individuals in their homes. President Tserenbat accompanied us to each home and was very sweet and friendly to the people. They were each happy to receive a wheelchair and to gain some mobility.  

After all the wheelchair deliveries, President Tserenbat took us on a tour of the copper mine where he worked for 33 years before retiring a year ago.  He is an amazing man and we really enjoyed his company.  We also enjoyed having Azzaya and her friend Batkaa with us!  They are darling!

1 comment:

  1. This is so great. When we shared our experiences at the COB, we shared lots of pictures of wheelchair recipients. It is such a touching thing to see. It was good to say "hi" and hear your voices. (Even if it was midnight there!)