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Saturday 1 November 2014

John tastes life in a wheelchair, in Peru

LYNDA CONNOLLY

Published 11/12/2012 | 12:47

John Whelan explores what life is like for wheelchair users in Peru, as part of his charity research.

A CARLOW MAN, now living in Lima, Peru, has been using a wheelchair to try and simulate what life is like with a disability in Peru.

In 2009, John Whelan started a non-profit organisation called Help Them Hope to support youths with disabilities in Peru. The charity offers a network of support and opportunity to help those with disabilities in terms of health, opportunity, progress, and education.

Through his wheelchair campaign he has been raising funds.

He used a wheelchair for two days to learn what challenges someone with a physical disability faces everyday, while raising awareness.

He also raised funds to continue supporting the Program Participants at Help Them Hope. The donations will be put towards his daily work with Help Them Hope, guaranteeing the those with disabilities in the program have the resources they need to become educated, gainfully employed, and independent, for themselves, and to help continue creating positive change for those with disabilities.

John noted difficulties with using public transportation because the few buses in Lima, which is the most advanced city in Peru, are not be equipped to transport him or being willing to pick him up.

He is also found that places he frequently visits did not have the equipment for him to go grocery shopping, use a public restroom or pick up his daughter from her friend's house.

John's charity now supports more than 100 youth with disabilities through education, career guidance, and Independent Living.

Follow John on Twitter and Instagram under the handle @johngwhelan

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