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Published: February 14th 2008
A DREAM BECOMES REALITY
Hiep can hardly believe that he is now the owner of this beautiful bike. He has it next to his bed of a night....
Lifestart Foundation supporter Christopher Francke held a fundraising event last year to raise money to purchase and modify a three-wheeled motorbike for Hiep. Christopher had read a previous blog about Hiep and his herb farm: Hiep's Changed Life - The Perfect Seedling Grant!
Hiep's story touched Christopher, inspiring him to host a fundraiser.
The fundraiser was lovely. Christopher held a film afternoon and screened a delightful Vietnamese film called "Buffalo Boy." The small Rado Theatre in Melbourne was filled to capacity, with all who attended eager to help reach the target needed to get Hiep motorized. Thanks to everyone's generosity, Hiep is now the very proud owner of a new Honda motor bike.
The new bike was purchased in Hoi An, and the parts to be modified were purchased in Saigon. These parts were then sent up to Central Vietnam; in the space of a week, the motorbike was converted to a three wheeler. Christopher was holidaying in Vietnam over Christmas, so he was able to be a part of the whole process.
Hiep had no idea that anything like this was being done for him -- he was completely shocked when we visited him at his home and told him he would be getting
Hiep is pictured sitting in his old hand propelled wheelchair.
a motorbike that very day. He told me that never in his wildest dreams could he ever imagine that he would one day be the owner of a motorbike.
Hiep lives a long way out of town and previously got around in an old hand-propelled wheelchair. The effort it took to get from point A to point B in the antiquated wheelchair often made the thought of going anywhere just too hard. Reaching a destination can be extremely exhausting for disabled people who have to move around in this type of wheelchair. Sometimes it is just easier to stay at home.
This is the fifth three-wheel motorbike that Lifestart has purchased and modified for members of the disabled group. That leaves only 60 to go!! ( There are 65 members in the disabled group.) Recipients are selected in order of medical, social and economic disadvantage.
All five recipients of the three wheeled motorbikes would never have dreamt -- let alone been able to afford --to have this type of motorized transportation. It truly changes their lives a thousand fold.
If you would like to help another one of our other disabled members to get motorized and
NGHE, HANH, MENH, SONG & HIEP
These are the five three wheeled motorbikes completed to date. All have been modified to suit each recipients particular disability.
mobile, please consider holding a fundraising event. The completed bikes range in cost from $1500aud to $2000aud depending on the type of modifications needed. Cheaper bikes could be purchased, but we are staying with new Hondas for the sake of reliability. The last thing you need when you are disabled is to have a motorbike that breaks down!
We have contacted Honda to see if they would like to help support our efforts but have received no reply from them to date. If you happen to have a direct contact to one of the head honchos at Honda, please let me know!
Lots of Love from Karen.
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