Humanitarian Volunteers Projects
July 1st, 2010 by ron


In Mid June in Novi Sad, Serbia, we did a big wheelchair training and distribution.  The wheelchairs are designed for people who have lost the use of their legs but who have really good upper body strength.  We had a team of people from Utah who came to train trainers in Serbia.  They were wonderful and we sure do appreciate their dedication and service to the people around the world.  One of the trainers, Jeff Griffin, is in a wheelchair himself.  He is a wonderful example of what people can do even though they have some obstacles in their path.  Jeff is not handicapped.  He is one of the most un-handicapped people I have ever met.  Thanks to Jeff and the Jacksons, Blake Powell, Dr Marc Andersen, and Phil Arnold for taking the time and energy to come to Serbia.  You were great.

This great team trained local people how to prescribe a special wheelchair and another team to build the chair specifically for the individual.  These are special wheelchairs that can do wheelies, go up and down stairs and maneuver through rough terrain out in the country.  They are not the kind that people push them around.  They run on the upper body strength of the person using the chair.  That is why they must fit the person properly and are built to fit.  It was an amazing experience.

#23.  We went to dinner at the end of the first day to a little traditional Serbian Restaurant.  The food was good and a quaint little orchestra serenaded us throughout our meal.  Finally they came up to our table and the man playing the guitar said “you Mormons?”  We said Yes.  He said “Me Too!”  We hadn’t met him before but he was at church on Sunday.  It was only our second time to go to church at Novi Sad.

#24.  This is our entire training team, both the Utahn’s and the Serbians.  We were ALL volunteers!

#25-A.  Ron and Bro. Jackson having a wheelchair race.  Brother Jackson won by a hair but he has had more practice!

#25-B.  This man was so happy with his new chair!  He wanted to prove what he could do with his chair!  He was popping wheelies all over the place!

#26.  The Utah Training Team!

#27.  Our training team.  The 6 wearing matching long sleeved shirts all came from Utah.  Ron & me and the rest were Serbs who were translators and all members of the church.

#28.  The press conference at the end of the training which lasted for 4 days.  Ron, Nikola the translator, Pres. Hill our mission Pres, and Dr. Grebeldinger.  He is our NGO and a very good one.

#29.  We gave 10 standard wheelchairs to the Home for the Blind in Pancevo, Serbia.

#30.  We were also able to get a dry sterilizer for bandages and implements for the Home for the Blind.  It is the box on the top behind me.

#31.  This little man was so happy to meet us and to have his photo taken with us!  He really made our day!

#32.  More pics with the patients from the blind home.

#33.  Being interviewed by the press in Kulina, Serbia.  We were able to get some furnishings for an independent living apartment in Kulina.  We were able to get cabinets, 2 beds, 2 couches, wardrobe closets, table and 4 chairs and end table for the apartment..  It is a home for mentally and physically handicapped individuals who have spent their whole lives in this institution.  At the presentation they gave us flowers!

#34.  One of the young residents gave Chris and Me roses!  He was so proud and we were so thrilled to receive them.

#35.  This plaque on the wall says “Donated by the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints”.

#36.  Many of the residents came out in a downpour to greet us.  It was so neat to be there.

#37. Back to Bosnia.  Ron making a deal on the trunk of a car with the head of the Bosnia Red Cross, Nikola and the City of Donji Vakuf Engineer.  The deal is for Latter-day Saint Charities to supply them with the materials they need to bring the water from a new spring into town so that they don’t run out of water in the hot summer months.

#38.  Namik, from Red Cross, Nikola and Ron near the site of their spring that will be piped into town.

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Monestary on the Hill

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