Independent non-profit and PWD-led Alagang AKAY donated wheelchairs for 200 Laguna-based Persons with Disabilities in ceremonies and festivities held in Laguna recently.
The donation drive was held in cooperation with the Sol Aragones Foundation, former news reporter and three-term congressman Sol Aragones.
“One out of 7 people around the world or some 15 percent of the world’s population face difficulties and barriers due to some form of disability. They are all PWDs. The incidence is higher and the challenges steeper for PWDs in developing countries,” said Sol Aragones, founder of the Sol Aragones Foundation.
“In our own efforts in Laguna province to assist PWDs and their families, we have found a partner in PWD-led Alagang AKAY,” added Aragones.
PWDs Powering Development
Alagang AKAY was founded independently by PWDs who seek to mobilize PWD power in community and national development.
“It begins of course with uplifting the quality of life of PWDs with specific medical and technological interventions. From there, we seek livelihood, employment, and socio-civic involvement opportunities for PWDs who stand as equals to those without disabilities in terms of strengths, skills, and creativity,” said Dwight Bayona, a leg-amputee, who stands as Ambassador for AKAY.
“Ultimately it is about upholding the dignity of PWDs who are as capable as anyone to support their families, serve the community, and beyond that, power the nation.”
“PWDs innately possess or acquire some sort of superpower, and that is a HEART for overcoming challenges, for triumph, and for contributing to society,” added Bayona who lost his right leg while assisting an accident victim 16 years ago.
Alagang Sol – Alagang AKAY
According to Aragones, Alagang Sol found a natural partner in Alagang Akay.
“Napakasaya ng Alagang Sol na may A-Akay na ngayon sa amin para Akayin din ang PWDs. Iisa po ang aming mithiin; ang ipaalam at iparamdam sa sektor ng PWD na andito kami na tutulong sa kanila sa abot ng aming makakaya. Hindi lamang sa pagbibigay ng wheelchair, tungkod at saklay, kundi maging sa pagsisimula ng hanap-buhay, tulong sa kalusugan at edukasyon. Sa mga PWD andito na ang Alagang Sol, Alagang Akay,” said Aragones.
“Hindi lang kailidad ng buhay para sa PWD kundi dignidad.”
Cavite-based Bayona agrees. “Sa pananaw ng isang PWD, hindi kami naiiba sa inyo. Ang bawat isa sa atin ay may mga kalakasan at kahinaan.”
“All extraordinary persons who had ever excelled, needed to overcome their own weaknesses, and had used their talents and built on their strengths for the benefit of others,” added Bayona.
Alagang Sol – Alagang Akay was also in Lucena, Quezon on December 6.