I’d like to introduce you to our friend and fellow PCV, Sam Bhattacharyya, who is currently volunteering with INAOE (Instituto Nacional de Astrofísica, Óptica y Electronica). Sam works on several projects, from promoting science education and economic development in local communities to providing technical expertise for a new non-profit organization, Prosthetics for Prosperity.
The idea for Prosthetics for Prosperity came from a local entrepreneur and leg amputee, Don Bernardo, has already made 3 prosthetic legs using basic hardware tools and locally available materials. He hopes that he can not only build more devices for the community, but also train people with disabilities to build their own devices. Add Alejandro, a local biomedical engineer and Sam, who has several years of experience working with robotic hands into the mix and you have Don Bernardo’s dream turned into reality.
Well, not quite yet; they need your help.
In order to start full-production, the trio needs to raise $4,000 USD in donations to set up a community workshop/laboratory to manufacture low-cost and custom made prosthetic devices from scrap metal and reusable carbon-fiber. The aim of the project is not only to help provide access to prosthetic devices in the local community, but also to train beneficiaries in income generating skills and to provide a support network for people with disabilities in the area. By working with the community to regain their livelihoods and economic independence, the team hopes to help the community both figuratively and literally get back on their feet.
Besides monetary donation, you can help by liking them on Facebook or follow them on Google+. Share the news with your friends, family, and anyone else who might be interested in spreading the news. To find out more, visit the Prosthetics for Prosperity website.