May 2012

Volume 10 (PDF version)

 Distributions in Peru and Zambia

Medical Ministry International continues PET cart distribution in Peru.
“Greetings, I wanted to send you the picture of a woman in Ayaviri Peru who received a PET cart. She had an ankle fracture and surgery that makes it difficult for her to walk. She is also an active member of the local organization that helps people with disabilities, so I’m hoping she will send me names of other folks who might need a PET cart. Yodee Fortner, MSPT, C/NDT ”
January 2012 (In 2011 5 PETs were sent.)

Life Restoration Partners International report excerpt:
“On a trip to Zambia in July 2011, our short term ministry team was taking time to follow up with OVC Advocates with whom we have developed a partnership. There are so many orphans and vulnerable children in Zambia…Many needs were presented to us, but we developed a special burden for two children, Mapalo and Blessings. Blessings and Mapalo both suffer from Cerebral Palsy… the 6 year old girl, Blessings, arrived tied to her caregivers back using a Chitenge. As one would imagine, it is not easy to take her places, but at age 6 she is still small enough to transport. Mapalo, on the other hand, is a 12 year old boy who has grown larger than his grandmother who serves as his primary caregiver. He could stand and take a few steps with assistance from his grandmother, but in a society where walking is a way of life, he is rarely able to go far…but the relationship that the caretakers had with their children also stood out to us. …Upon returning (to the US) we began searching for options…One of the team member’s mother learned about a group that made PET carts here in the US. These seemed to be perfect since they are designed to travel on non-paved, less-than-ideal roads and paths. When communicating with Von Driggs of PET International, we learned that they had a person who made these carts in the neighboring town of Kitwe, Zambia! The communication was a breeze – Von was quick to respond and introduce us to his Zambian counterpart, Delbert, who manufactures the PET chairs from the New Life Center (PET Zambia) in Kitwe. He was able to build specialized chairs for the children, which were ready for pick-up in a short amount of time. We are very grateful for the work of PET International and the New Life Center in Kitwe for stepping up to meet the needs of disabled children and be a visible expression of the love of Christ… Tannen VanZwieten, Director“

 Volunteers come full circle in Dominican Republic

Mark Griffy (shown above) and his team of volunteers at PET Memphis have
made great investments in the PET mission. He went to Florida for training at
one of our designated sites. PET Memphis was approved in 2010. A PET
International board member, Freddie Brown at PET TN-Murfreesboro, assisted
them in a variety of ways including inspection of their first PETs before shipping
could proceed. In May 2011 Mark and Mark Bogan went to the Dominican
Republic to meet Kristin Hamner, National Director of Mission Programs in DR,
for The Foundation for Peace. They felt good about their meeting and left
Kristin with our Partnership Application. While they were there, they were able to distribute their first PET built at their shop to Leo who had lost a leg in an accident.

In November 2011 the U.S. Navy’s Project Handclasp delivered 113 PET carts from three of the PET Affiliates in TN, FL and MI. Mark Griffy led a team of PET Memphis volunteers back to DR to help reassemble the PETs and distribute. They are off to a great start in their work to help the disabled thru PET.

 Other Tidbits

Distribution Partner reports:
Mission Inter Senegal sent a completed distribution report of the 434 PETs
they received in 2011. Included were statements by leaders of local
organizations, several testimonies from PET recipients and a list of the
organizations that received the PETs which included two Baptist churches, a
mayor and a hospital.
At the end of the report was a section titled “Problems: As you have seen in
the above table of distribution, the number of wheelchairs received did not
meet the demands. We wanted to provide a chair for all of those in need but could not. Even now we continue to receive requests for more chairs. So we are looking for more wheelchairs to respond to the handicapped that have a dire need to be mobile.

Conclusion:…We thank PET with all of our hearts for their generosity to the handicapped people of Senegal through MIS and CBN.”

Landmines: They are one of the main reasons PETs are needed and will be needed for some time to come.  The National Geographic magazine in January had a story called “The Healing Hands”. In it there was a chart of the world highlighting the reported number of people killed or injured by landmines by country from
1999 to 2010. Colombia, Afghanistan, Iraq and Cambodia had the highest numbers. PETs have gone to these countries but in few numbers.

PET production achievements and goals:
In December PET MI-Holland celebrated building their 1,000 child size crank PET. PET MO-Columbia, who started PET production eighteen years ago, has a goal this year of building “2012 PETs in 2012”.

The Affiliate production sites range in age from 18 years to less than one year. Once they get a shop established, they build anywhere from 1 to 40+ a week. Each PET built, shipped and distributed is very important.

 PET International Representative in Zimbabwe

On April 18, 2012 the Board of Trustees of PET International voted unanimously in favor of a proposal for Morgan Matsiga to serve as their mission representative headquartered in Harare, Zimbabwe. Morgan is a citizen of Zimbabwe who is returning to his native country for two years to fulfill a commitment for receiving
a student visa from the US government in the late 1970s. Morgan and his wife Becky have three children. His family, all US citizens, will remain in the US. Morgan
plans to return to the US and apply for citizenship at the end of two years.
Morgan has been a regular volunteer at PET MO – Columbia for several years. He is a member of Community United Method Church (CUMC) in Columbia. He is passionate in his Christian ministry serving the less fortunate of our brothers and sisters around the world. Members of CUMC are partnering with PET International in providing financial and spiritual support for Morgan.
Morgan attended the University of Missouri in Columbia, holds a masters degree, and has completed all course work for his PhD in entomology. In his new assignment he will be performing key tasks that PET International has longed to do, but has not, until now, had the necessary resources. Evaluation is the most
operative term to describe Morgan’s key task. There are several thousand PET recipients in southern Africa. Morgan will evaluate how the PET carts have been
holding up under varying use conditions and reporting his findings to the Standardization Committee of PET International. Morgan, with the help of physical
therapists in Zimbabwe, hopes to evaluate PET recipients, too. Recipients have a variety of physical and mental disabilities. It is very important to know the long term effects on the recipients of using a PET to determine if additional modifications are needed. Changes in PET seats are currently being evaluated because of evaluations and recommendations from our distribution partners.

Look for stories and reports from Morgan on the PET International blog and newsletters. And feel free to contact Morgan at Shumba3@hotmail.com.

 Fundraising can be fun

Our volunteer, Walt Hays, in Alaska told us how youth raised money to
do mission work in Cameroon this May.
“Cardio for Cameroon at the Dome” included 60+ youth and adults. The
Cameroon Mission Team from St. John United Methodist Church in
Anchorage raised thousands of dollars. Over 20 youth and adults will go
on the ten day trip. Delivering 70 PETs to disabled children and adults will be one of their tasks.
This is just one example of fundraising going on around the country by local persons to provide PETs or help distribute them. We invite you to come up with your own fun way of raising money to help PET
International tell the PET story, assist & train Affiliate production sites, and coordinate shipments. We can send you promotional materials by email or mail you brochures and a DVD to help you share the PET story. We are also looking for volunteer promoters who will regularly give presentations to groups as the opportunities arise.