Here is a nonprofit group from Mexico looking to involve local artisans to create more affordable prosthetics and other aids to those who need them there: Prosthetics for Prosperity! They will be participating in Make The World: Prosthetics this month.
Life for people with disabilities is especially difficult in rural Mexico. Automobile accidents and a high prevalence of Diabetes lead to high rates of amputations, and those affected face severe social, economic and mobility obstacles. For many, traditional prosthetic devices and proper medical services are far too expensive. Many drop out of the workforce, and find it extremely difficult to economically sustain themselves. Many more remain dependent on friends and family, providing a burden on the entire community.
It doesn’t have to be like this, according to Don Bernardo, local entrepreneur and leg amputee who heads the “Associacion Civil del Flor de Cardo Santo”, a community organization to support locals with disabilities. Having already made 3 prosthetic legs using basic hardware tools and locally available materials, Don Bernardo believes that he can not only build more devices for the community, but also train people with disabilities to build their own devices. According to him, “People are entirely capable of improving their lives, they just refuse to believe it”.
…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 beneficiaries to regain their livelihoods and economic independence, we hope to help them both figuratively and literally get back on their feet.
Every Thursday is #3dthursday here at Adafruit — and today we will be sharing about Make The World: Prosthetics, a one month program on Google+ aimed at crowdsourcing the manufacturing and delivery of printed prosthetics to people in need, hosted by Adafruit’s Limor Fried, Matt Griffin and Phillip Torrone. Key partners on the program include Robohand, MakerBot, The Open Hand Project, Anthromod, Prosthetics for Prosperity, eNABLE, The Lucky Fin Project and Hands for Africa.
Adafruit’s Makers, Hackers, Artists and Engineers Community under the subsection “Make the World” is hosting this month long effort. Community members will post up with what they can help with, suggest people in need, and post pictures of their accomplishments/builds. In addition Makers will be able to find support for the creation of Robohands in the eNABLE Community on Google+.