First published 4 June 2022
The reality of mobility challenges in Thailand. We met up with the Isaan Riders Group, in Nong Bua Lamphu today, at one of the few volunteer organisations around aimed at giving people with disabilities the opportunity of being somewhat mobile again.
The Isaan group had originally picked up on a post I made in 2020 in this group where I wrote about this organisation and today wanted to make contact to sponsor adapted motorbikes for people supported by the Independent Living group. I timed our participation to hand over a scooter I originally bought for my daughter Peng, prior to a major operation in 2017, to improve her mobility.
An inspiration afternoon, with people that have very little trying to make a difference. Follow the photos for the full story, but before you head off.........I know there are members who have supported my causes before, and I was hoping the group would step up again to help out in this worthwhile project. The Isaan Riders Group is going to provide funding to get four people mobile, and I hoping we could raise some money to restore Peng's scooter, and then hand it over to a fifth person. We will be meeting up again late next month hopefully with the Isaan guys for the handover, which I will report on. It would be wonderful to include Peng's scooter in that ceremony.
I will kick off the project with 1,000 baht. If you are inspired by what you see and read in this post, why not commit to a donation either by Messaging me or emailing (ask in the comments). If we get more than is needed, we can arrange to sponsor another person.
This is a budget operation with almost no money. Government doesn't help and with over 20,000 disabled people in the province (not all with mobility issues of course) it is an uphill battle to help out. I think all the volunteers turned up to meet the farang today. Such a friendly bunch. A Thai smile from a wheelchair. With little money Isaan people have masses amount of adaptability and creativity to fall back on. This one built for wheelchair access.
As demonstrated by the owner later in the afternoon. We actually passed this guy heading home after we left the gathering.
Other varieties of mobility.
A solar option, but they can't afford to buy the battery!
The workshop. Several of the guys in wheelchairs are the mechanics here. How great is that.
And photos of some of the people they have helped.
As you can tell the Isaan Riders Group has arrived.
Mixing with the locals, who are keen to demonstrate the transport options they have.
I had to add a few shots for those of you into heavy duty road bikes.
Wheelchair folded up on the back and off he goes. The two outrider wheels have been added to hold the bike upright.
The Isaan Rider Group discussing how they will fund the work that needs to be done.
They raise money by selling these shirts. Join their group and buy a couple: https://www.facebook.com/groups/2393283987562067
Peng's scooter is in the back of our truck.
Unloaded. A sorry state having not been used for several years. I hope it can be recovered.
The scooter in better days. In this photo Peng is having her first ride. I doubt we can get it back to looking this good again, but if operational it would transform someone else's life as it did with Peng.
The operation on Peng that thankfully made the scooter redundant.
A scooter handover photo moment.
The scooter wishing it could be like his big brothers in the back.
Attitude in motion.
The two groups.
Dave Zac on the right, is the originator of the Isaan Riders Group, and the one who organised this day.
A promotional photo.
This is Thorsten, a member of this group who has built a magnificent timber home in the local area. https://www.facebook.com/thorsten.leppek
The group heading back to Udon. If you have made it this far, please consider supporting the Renovate Peng's Scooter project. A small contribution will make the world of difference for someone.
Thanks for reading.