A re-design of the traditional wheelchair could help change lives in East Africa, where one in two hundred disabled people live without access to mobility, as Stuart McDill explains.
Meet Janna Deeble - fundraising here on Kickstarter to make SafariSeat - a new kind of wheelchair offering more than just mobility. Designed to be easy to make, easy to repair and life changing. SOUNDBITE (English) JANNA DEEBLE, SAFARISEAT FOUNDER SAYING: "SafariSeat is a wheelchair designed for people in developing countries and what makes it unique is firstly the fact that it's made from local materials and bike parts which means that anyone will be able to fix it, secondly that it's incredibly good off-road. It has a mechanism which mimics car suspension meaning that all wheels remain on the ground for maximum stability." Inspired by an injury that left him wheelchair dependent for several months, Deeble decided he had to help Partnering with a workshop in Kenya, he says his open source design improves the biomechanical efficiency of wheelchairs - and can be built and maintained anywhere. SOUNDBITE (English) JANNA DEEBLE, SAFARISEAT FOUNDER SAYING: "Open Source means that the designs will be totally free and we're doing this because we want SafariSeat to help as many people as possible. Our aim is that anyone in the world will be able to take the plans and build SafariSeats for people in their community, both helping people with disabilities and creating jobs for local people." The Kickstarter campaign raised more than three times the target of thirty thousand pounds... err ...allowing the team to expand - training other workshops in Kenya and moving into Tanzania and Uganda. SOUNDBITE (English) JANNA DEEBLE, SAFARISEAT FOUNDER SAYING: "SafariSeat benefits people by giving them independence through mobility and this allows them to take care of their kids, to get jobs, to become active members of society. And really mobility is far more than movement. It is the key that unlocks access to a life beyond the confines of your own home." One in 200 disabled people in East Africa live in need of a wheelchair - SafariSeat's maker hopes this easy to build alternative can bring that number down