One thing Baghdad is not short on is children. They're everywhere!
Kids ran around, asking to have their picture taken. I had so many pictures, I just posted this and the previous one as examples.
This boy was very happy, smiled and giggled a lot. However, his couldn't walk and his head and arms jerked around sporadically.
Some of the kids who came were just too large, and needed an adult wheelchair.
Disabled boy is quite big for his mother to continue lifting. A kids wheelchair would be quite a blessing for her and her son...
Many children are disabled in Iraq. UNICEF says 1 out of 7 Iraqi children has a disability.
Disabled children arrive with their parents, having been carried most if not all of their lives.
Disabled children and their parents line up, in hopes of receiving new wheelchairs.
Iraqi Army arrives with wheelchairs, but is unable to stay for the distribution event.
32 wheelchairs await new owners at the Al Fadel clinic in Baghdad.
The DAC council members were present for the ceremony where the families received their wheelchairs.
Sometimes we have adults come who are the size of larger children. Just their bodies are deformed from disease, accidents or birth defects. This man and his wife both spoke English very well, but she simply couldn't lift him anymore. They were very grateful for the wheelchair.
Many children have separation anxiety when they're placed in the wheelchairs for the first time. Often, they've not been separated from their parents like this, and they don't understand. But this wheelchair is one of the greatest things to happen to them in their short lives, and will help improve their quality of life.
Disabled boy with very skinny legs sits in his new wheelchair while his brother looks on. He could not hold himself up without falling over, so this wheelchair provided him the support he needed to stay upright. It was exactly what he needed!
Teen boy with father, brothers and new wheelchair!
Disabled girl and her mother with wheelchair. Random boys in the background hoping for candy.
This boy was extremely talkative - had to be in his 2s or 3s!
11 year old Ben Werdegar sponsored this wheelchair. For more than a year, Ben has been playing his guitar on the streets of San Francisco with open guitar case to collect donations. So far, he's sponsored 44 pediatric wheelchairs and paid for them by collecting over $13,000 in donations! See Ben's website www.iplayforpeace.net
Thank you, Ben! www.iplayforpeace.net
One hundred ROC wheelchairs were sponsored by Shiva Sarram and the Blossom Hill Foundation (also owns Blossom Hill Photography in Connecticut). Shiva held fundraisers and encouraged others in her community to donate to her foundation!
This little girl was the last to receive a wheelchair. She could not vertically stabilize herself, but the lateral supports on the ROC Wheelchair gave her the support she required. Just as I pulled out the camera, she started smiling for the first time during her visit!