Donated Items Help Disabled in Ecuador

Counterpart International facilitated a donation of medical equipment to a Quito-based non-profit.

Quito, Ecuador, July 30, 2009 --( Counterpart International (Counterpart) sent one forty foot container filled with wheelchairs, walking aids and medical equipment to Fundación Vista Para Todos, a medical non-profit organization headquartered in Quito, Ecuador. This organization not only provides general medical services but also supports the physically disabled in Ecuador.

“This invaluable donation and the strong partnerships among the organizations involved gave the gift of mobility to many confined to their beds and homes,” says Rang Hee Kim, Acting Co-director of Counterpart’s Community and Humanitarian Assistance Programs (CHAP).

The medical items were donated by Hope Haven Ministries International, a non-profit organization based in Rock Valley, Iowa. Virginia-based Reo Distribution Services, Inc. covered the US domestic inland transportation costs. In addition to distributing the donated items, Fundación Vista Para Todos covered the inland charges in Ecuador. Port to port ocean freight costs were covered through the USAID Ocean Freight Reimbursement (OFR) Program.

USAID’s OFR Program is the oldest continuing support program offering subsidies to Private Voluntary Organizations (PVOs) to ship commodities overseas for use in privately funded development and humanitarian assistance programs. The OFR funding has been critical to the success of Counterpart's programs and operations across the world, in helping defray much of the shipping costs.

The commodities shipped to Ecuador weighed 17,000 lbs and totaled over $96,000. The shipment included canes, walkers, crutches and various types of specialty wheelchairs including power, heavy duty, bariatric, and hand crank PETs (personal energy transportation). The medical equipment shipment was loaded in Rock Valley, Iowa on April 9, 2009. It arrived in Quito, Ecuador on May 4, 2009.

Due to the lack of economic resources, most vulnerable families in Ecuador cannot afford wheelchairs and depend heavily on humanitarian assistance to receive such equipment. The specialty wheelchairs are in high demand due to the high percentage of children that suffer from cerebral palsy, muscular dystrophy and other debilitating illnesses.

The various types of wheelchairs were given to 130 people, 94 men and 36 women. The canes, walkers and crutches were distributed to 200 people, 150 men and 50 women. Distributions were carried out in several Ecuadorian cities, including Ambato, La Concordia, Cotacachi, Pedernales and Quito.

The distribution of medical items continues today, providing even more physically disabled people with the necessary medical equipment to carry or enjoy mobile and healthy lives. Counterpart’s CHAP division continues to deliver and distribute large amounts of commodities to the most vulnerable and needy populations throughout the world. The donated items help strengthen institutions like hospitals and health centers that serve these communities.

Established in 1965, Counterpart International (Counterpart) has forged strategic partnerships in more than 65 countries. With 350 staff currently operating in 25countries, Counterpart’s programs encompass humanitarian aid and relief assistance, health care, democracy and governance, natural resource management and feeding the impoverished. Though Counterpart’s projects are diverse, they share a common objective: improving the lives of those in need by empowering people and local institutions to develop innovative, holistic, and lasting solutions that address social, economic and environmental challenges. Learn more at

Counterpart International
Rang Hee Kim