Inter-America, ADRA

ADRA helps boy with paralysis get new wheelchair

Family also receives food packages, clothes and hygiene kits

San Salvador, El Salvador | ADRA El Salvador

Since he was 8-months-old, Juancito was a paralytic who depended heavily on others to get him around. By age 12 he was accustomed to moving from one location pushing himself around in a wheelchair. At school, the wheelchair served a big purpose for Juancito as it helped him maneuver his way around in class while learning. 

On January 19, robbers broke into Juancito’s school and stole 35 computers and even his wheelchair. When it was discovered Juancito’s wheelchair was stolen, he was unable to attend school and it was difficult for his brothers to transport him.  

He lived with his grandmother, 77, because his mother was in jail. Though Juancito had his grandmother to live with, she was unemployed and the family lived in extreme poverty conditions. Their home had no electricity or clean drinking water, the floor was soiled with dirt, and with little food to eat, the family lacked proper daily nutrition. All this while, Juancito was unable to return to school.  

ADRA’s network office in El Salvador heard about Juancito and wanted to help. One of the most important donations ADRA El Salvador receives each year are wheelchairs that are delivered to people who are physically handicapped and who live in extreme poverty in the local areas of El Salvador. 

Because the needs in El Salvador are so great and cumbersome, ADRA El Salvador teamed up with Free Wheelchair Mission, and World Vision El Salvador, another faith-based organization that also worked in the area, to offer some relief assistance for the family in dire need of emergency attention. 

Together, ADRA, Free Wheelchair Mission, and World Vision El Salvador visited the family and surprised Juancito with a brand new wheelchair. The family also received food packages to last them for a while, clothes, and hygiene kits.  

Juancito was pleasantly surprised and happy to receive his new wheelchair reported ADRA El Salvador. His grandmother, who had recently undergone surgery, was also very grateful to receive the help. 

“Cases like these have led us to realize that it is worth what we do, see the smile in Juancito and in his grandmother,” said Juan Pablo Ventura Garcia, country director for ADRA El Salvador. 

In the last six months, ADRA El Salvador has delivered more than 500 wheelchairs to people who need them most. The wheelchairs were donated by Free Wheelchair Mission and World Vision El Salvador.