As Trevor Palmer, a disabled full-time wheelchair user, watched the TV coverage of the 2004 Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami, he saw what no one else saw – that the needs of disabled people can be overlooked during disaster relief efforts.
Feeling a moral responsibility to counteract this, he established ResponsABLE Assistance, a Newport based not-for-profit organisation dedicated to providing mobility and medical equipment to disabled people in need. Over the past ten years Trevor has funded these vital relief efforts primarily through his own business ventures and generosity from local communities.
On April 25 2015, the Gorkha earthquake in Nepal killed over 8,000 people and injured thousands more, many of whom will be disabled for life. ResponsABLE Assistance, working alongside local partners and with the support of Save the Children, provided over 3 tonnes of mobility equipment to the affected area. However, the severity and urgency of the disaster forced the charity to divert resources planned to send a container of equipment and tools to assist disabled people in the Kibwezi and Embu districts of Kenya.
Financial donations are now desperately needed to get this container of specialist mobility and independent living equipment to Kenya and distributed. They will also send members of their team to ensure the gear is correctly deployed.
“We’re sending out the parts and tools so disabled people can set up their own micro-businesses – assembling equipment that other disabled people need.” Says Trevor
Though they are looking to raise £6,800, further assistance will enable ResponsABLE Assistance to provide aid in future disasters. The Kenya disability support initiative is being funded through Kriticalmass, a unique crowdsourcing platform that also encourages help from volunteers, business partners and influencers who can raise awareness.
“We see this project as fantastic way to build our ResponsABLE Assistance community, spreading the word about the work we do, both in rapid response, and long term projects. This will go a long way to ensure disabled people across the globe are given the best shot at a successful life.” Trevor Palmer
Coordinating with international aid charity Merlin, ResponsABLE Assistance have aided disabled survivors of both the 2005 Kashmir and 2010 Haiti earthquakes. They have also collaborated with the National Police Aid convoy to donate tailored equipment to Rwanda. The Kenyan disability support initiative, begun in 2013, is linked with local disabled people’s organisations, schools and welfare. The initiative also seeks to integrate disabled students into local schools, and focus on developing the efficacy of water distribution.
To support Trevor and ResponsABLE Assistance visit kriticalmass.com/p/responsABLE