SPIA receives $1.5m mobility devices assistance

Representative of various organisations during the official hand over in Suva on Monday. Picture: Vodafone SUPPLIED/ATH

Vodafone ATH Fiji Foundation successfully delivered a consignment of 40-foot mobility devices costing about $1.5 million to the Spinal Injury Association (SPIA).

The hand over was the 22nd collaboration in improving the lives of individuals with spinal injuries and disabilities.

The director of Vodafone ATH, Deepak Baran, said it was a must to recognise the efforts of SPIA volunteers, who worked tirelessly to assess and hand over those devices to those in need.

“Together with other donors, including the Vodafone ATH Fiji Foundation, we have provided mobility devices and services about $30 million to Fiji communities,” he said.

“Our collaboration has brought transformative changes, and with our collective efforts, we can continue making a lasting impact.”

Mr Baran also announced that Vodafone ATH would be funding a volunteer executive for SPIA, Jope Kikau, to support the Spinal Injury Association and other programs.

National Council for Persons with Disabilities (NCPD) disability inclusion officer and member of SPIA Nafitalai Uluinikorotabu said the wheelchairs, crutches, and hospital beds weren’t mobility devices but life-changing devices.

“The life-changing devices help people like me, I am a wheelchair user — they help me to go on about a normal daily life,” he said.

“During our census in 2017, we had about 113,000 persons with disabilities. Just imagine the number of people that need mobility devices now. It is a huge need. The equipment in’t just for Suva; they are for the outer islands as well as the North and West.”

Partnering organisations included PhysioNet UK, the British High Commission, the Ministry of Women, Children and Poverty Alleviation, the Department of Foreign Affairs of Australia, and the Rotary organisation

More Stories