We provide physical and emotional rehabilitation for amputees living across Africa
The WHO estimate that 80% of the 600 million people living with disabilities globally are living in developing countries. Within this, it’s further estimated that 0.5% of a country’s population are amputees; so across Africa there could be as many as 6.5 million amputees.
Recycling Prosthetic Leg Components
With the help of amputees in the UK, Legs4Africa provides prosthetics for people living across Africa while doing our a bit for the planet.
We recycle prosthetic limbs that would otherwise end up in landfill here in the UK. We collect them from individuals, NHS hospitals and other establishments like funeral homes.
Prosthetic legs that are donated to Legs4Africa are dismantled into their components by volunteers. They are then distributed to partnering hospitals in Africa where they are reassembled to build new prosthetic legs for amputees who would otherwise go without.
Legs4Africa and Men’s Shed have partnered up to make sure that all of the prosthetic legs donated to us are fully dismantled, serviced and cleaned before they are sent to mobility centres in Africa.
The retired gentlemen at the Men’s Shed in Warmley, Bristol meet every Thursday with their allen keys in hand and their cups of tea brewing, ready to do some good and help people they are likely to never meet.
Men’s Shed is a charity that runs all over the world. It creates a safe environment for retired men to gather and do something practical and often something good. The organisation is making a huge difference to men’s wellbeing on an international scale. If you’re running a Men’s Shed outside of the UK and would like to join with us please get in touch here.
Warmley “Men in Sheds” started in April 2016 and is based in the Kingswood Heritage Museum, Bristol. We use the same workshop as the Bristol Group of the charity Tools for Self Reliance who refurbish tools and sewing machines so that Africans can earn their own living. Some of our members belong to each group. So when Legs4Africa asked if we could dismantle legs to go to Africa, we were immediately sympathetic to what Legs4Africa were doing.
Although Members come to the Shed to do their own projects , in practice most of the Members help out when they have completed their project and 2 or 3 dismantle legs as their main project. It has also really helped one or two who came to us in a depressed state. One person who donated his own leg has now joined the team.
In the first 6 months of working together we have dismantled about 300 legs – we think Leg4Africa is having a job to keep up with us!Mervyn Bishop
Setting up Support Groups in Africa
We facilitate amputee-led groups in Africa so individuals can be supported emotionally and form friendships with people in the same situation as them.
In 2016 Legs4Africa set up an amputee support group in The Gambia after realising that there was no access to emotional rehabilitation support for amputees in the whole country. The response to setting up the group exceeded expectations.
Members meet monthly with new friends to provide each other with peer support, receive motivational talks and referral guidance for work, discuss domestic issues and mental health and to play sport. Feedback has emphasised to us the benefits that support groups can bring. Through gathering together regularly amputees in The Gambia are starting to realise their collective strength and are forcing positive change on a national scale.
The Gambian Amputee Association was formed with the help from Legs4Africa in 2016 and we haven’t looked back. I was privileged to be selected as the President of the committee and this has made me extremely proud, and I’ve become even more sensitive and diligent about how I can personally support fellow amputees. Musa Kandeh - The G.A.A President