Rotarians make prosthetic hands for landmine victims

Fraser Coast people were invited to open their hearts and wallets to give landmine victims a new lease on life with donations of prosthetic hands.

Rotary Club of Maryborough Sunrise President Glenda Pitman said that each month, about 20,000 people including children were injured in landmine accidents.

Helping Hands

Debbie McCausland resists the urge the help husband Hugh build a prosthetic hand while limited with a hand cover.

“In more than 60 countries across the world, there are more than 300,000 live landmines still in the ground,” Mrs Pitman said.

“A wonderful program has been established in Rotary District 9570 to allow Australians to come together to learn a little of the challenges faced by people with arm limb injuries while building a simple mechanical prosthetic hand to donate to a victim.

“Twice a year, volunteers (paying their own costs) travel to the sub-continent to work with local Rotary Clubs and other local groups to fit hands to identified recipients.  Three trips are planned for 2016 – to Sri Lanka, Cambodia and Laos.

“Generally, a simple prosthetic limb on the sub-continent costs more than AUD $3000.

“Here in Australia, a complex digitized prosthetic can cost over $70,000.

“The Helping Hands Program provides opportunities for groups of two or three people to come together to build a hand for donation for the low cost of $400 per hand.

“But, there is a catch.  So that participants can gain an appreciation of how difficult life without a limb can be, teams work with a covering on their dominant hand and sit side by side.

“Participants also decorate the case that the hand is delivered in and have their photo and a message included.  When hands are distributed, the recipient’s photo is taken and sent to the hand makers.

“Can you donate $400 to $4000 and a few hours of your time to change the life of a landmine victim?

“Hand kits are must be pre-purchased in lots of 10.  The more sponsors we can find, the more hands we can deliver.  The Rotary Clubs in Maryborough will arrange for a minimum of two kits to be available for purchase.

“This is a wonderful team-building exercise and all donations are acknowledged. ”

Please contact Maria on (ah) 4121 6421 or or Robyn on (ah) 4121 5001 if you would like further information or to reserve hands.

Helping Hands

HANDIWORK: Maryborough West State School student Jacob McDonald, 11, proudly shows how the prosthetic hand he built holds a pen.

*A Rotary Facebook link to the SEVEN LOCAL NEWS report reached 6289 people, with 1.8k views and 50 shares.