What we do
Just Wheels works to reduce poverty and hardship for people with mobility issues. We work with individuals and the wider mobility-impaired community. We support people to have a voice, a future and to have hope.
Without the ability to move around, life is hard it’s hard to get educated, hard to work, hard to socialise. A set of good-quality wheels can make the world of difference to a person’s life. There are over 10,000 people in Tabora region who are unable to get around without help.
Just Wheels identifies people in need from direct referrals by government or other organisations. We identify the most needy.
Our first task is to assess the individual for a wheelchair or mobility aid. This is undertaken by a physiotherapist and a wheelchair technician. Wheelchairs are made locally, in the Just Wheels workshop, to World Health Organisation standards. Individuals are then provided with a package of support to make sure that they get maximum benefit from their wheelchair or mobility aid and to give them the support they need to enable them to flourish.
Support to individuals
Just Wheels provides a range of support:
- a high quality wheelchair tailored to the needs of the individual
- maintenance of the wheelchair
- physiotherapy, treatment and advice
- funding and support to access education, whether that is school, literacy and numeracy training or skills training
- empowerment training which includes human rights, gender issues and safeguarding
- access to a sport and wellbeing group
- care and support from our staff through regular visits and phone calls and visits to our premises
Support to the mobility-impaired community
Just Wheels is developing services – a wheelchair workshop and physiotherapy clinic – in our existing premises.
Anticipating a growth in the demand for our services, we are also planning a new purpose-built Mobility Centre which will have a range of services including wheelchair workshops, a physiotherapy clinic, training rooms, small-business incubation units, a gym, café and dormitories. Building standards in Tanzania rarely take wheelchair users into account. We will create an exemplary building to show what an accessible, sustainable building should look like and how it can be used to benefit the community of people with disabilities. To realise this vision we are Just wheels is working with a range of partners including Arup International and Challenges Worldwide. Our outline plans are available here (picture and plans included). . During 2022 we plan to purchase land and raise funds for this exciting project.
We are working with Education Authorities, schools and teachers to enable more children with physical disabilities to attend school and adults to attend colleges or other skills training establishments. This involves provision of ramps, toilets, training and support. We also operate an Education Fund to which our wheelchair recipients can apply. During 2022 we plan to raise funds and to build accessible toilets in 2 schools.
Disabled Peoples organisation/ Forum
Just Wheels supports a forum for people with disabilities to guide the work of Just Wheels, and to promote ideas and raise concerns.
Wellbeing and Sports
Just Wheels runs a Sports and Wellbeing Club for wheelchair-users and we are working with partners to make this happen.
Providing the right equipment
It is important to supply people with mobility issues with a well-fitted, good quality wheelchair or other mobility aid. A poor-quality wheelchair can cause more harm than good.
Our wheelchairs are made in the Just Wheels workshop by Just Wheels technicians who are given ongoing training and support to ensure they are up-to-date with standards . We follow World Health Organisation guidelines for fitting, production and follow-up care – the WHO Guidelines are here. During 2022 we will be undertaking a quality assessment with WHO staff.