Making a difference to children’s lives through provision of wheelchairs

November 23, 2023 2:29 pm

David Majith is one of more than 400 learners who has been supported with a wheelchair through a joint initiative of GESS, Food for the Hungry South Sudan, and the Free Wheelchair Mission. 

David is an eight-year-old learner with a physical disability. He is in Primary 2 at a school in Lakes State. David lost his father when he was one and half years old. He and his three sisters live with their mother who earns just enough to feed the family. 

Before David received the wheelchair, it was  exceedingly difficult for him to get to school. Now rather than carrying him the entire distance, his sisters can push him in his wheelchair.  

He hopes that GESS will support him until he completes his schooling. He also encourages other parents to bring their children to school, because education is life changing.

A consignment of 520 wheelchairs was sent to Juba this year by Free Wheelchair Mission and an agreement was made with Usratuna Rehabilitation Centre in Juba, whereby they would fit the wheelchairs to suit for each child. Volunteers from the 10 states and the 3 administrative areas of South Sudan were trained on how to assemble the wheelchairs, assess potential recipients, adjust the wheelchairs for a custom fit, and train recipients on correct wheelchair use. The data gathered through the GESS programme’s digital data system – the South Sudan Schools’ Attendance Monitoring System (SAMS), by using the Washington Group Questions, was vital to identifying children who need wheelchairs. 

GESS is currently in the process of collaborating with the Ministry of General Education and Instruction (MoGEI) and the Ministry of Gender, Child and Social Welfare to build on the lessons learnt from the wheelchair project and establish a referral pathway system in line with the South Sudan National Policy on Inclusive Education. Access to assistive devices (these could be wheelchairs, eyeglasses or voice recorders, for example) is a game changer for children with disabilities. It provides them with access to education, enhances their dignity and allows them to participate fully in the life of their community.

Usratuna Centre, Juba

Free Wheelchair Mission –  


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