Oamaru wheelchair makes life easier in Kokopo

Published on 7th November 2012

Life has just got easier for a Papua New Guinean girl with cerebral palsy and the family members who until recently have had to carry her around, thanks to the arrival of a second-hand wheelchair organised with the help of former VSA volunteer Bill Kingan.


The wheelchair was donated to Callan Services for Disabled Persons in Kokopo by Oamaru man Peter Wylie, who says it had become surplus to requirements after he got a new wheelchair.


Bill, also from Oamaru, suggested sending the wheelchair to Callan Services, which works with people with disabilities throughout Papua New Guinea. Bill spent two years working as a VSA volunteer in East New Britain, based at the PNG University of Natural Resources in Kerevat.


Bill and Peter worked together to get the wheelchair up to scratch – including replacing the wheels – then Bill then got in touch with the Waitaki Rotary club and asked if it would be prepared to pay the cost of sending the wheelchair from Oamaru to PNG. TNT Freight transported the wheelchair free of charge within PNG.


Callan staff member Emmanuel Melchoir (left), programme coordinator Pius Norogua (right) and VSA Wellington
staff member Emma Marlow with Pius’ son Patrick and the wheelchair.

The handover took place on 15 October when VSA’s PNG country programme manager Hannah Stewart was visiting Callan Services with VSA staff member Emma Marlow.


The wheelchair has now been delivered to a teenage girl with cerebral palsy.


“She has never had a wheel chair and her family had to carry her everywhere, but she was starting to get quite heavy,” says Bill. “It’s great to know the wheelchair has gone to a deserving recipient.”


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