All of our projects work towards the goal of improving the everyday lives of children with special needs. Currently our projects take place in various regions of Nicaragua and involve providing equipment, on-site paramedical services administered by our paramedical teams and referral to local year-long medical services. Within the coming years, our programs will expand to neighbouring countries in Central and South America and eventually worldwide.
Awareness in Canada
One of Pivot International’s objectives is to get Canadians thinking about the challenges faced by special needs children and their families in developing countries all over the world. By recruiting so many local volunteers and donors, word of what we do and why we do it is spreading quickly. Our most important participants for raising awareness about our cause and mission are our CAMPUS CLUBS who are often able to engage their entire student body to support Pivot International.
Access to Adapted Equipment and Mobility Aids
Pivot International’s paramedical teams determine what adapted equipment each child needs. Whether they require a wheelchair, walking aid or anything else, we make sure to order and adjust everything as precisely as possible to the child’s measurements. The equipment we use is always as light, durable, comfortable and is refurbished and reused if possible as out Pivot Ambassadors grow and learn!
Access to Our Paramedical Team and Services
The paramedical team evaluates the positioning needs of the children, educates the families on the proper wheelchair positioning for feeding and for pressure sores preventions, and teaches exercises to improve posture and mobility.
Referral to Local Health Services
As an organization with limited resources and a Canadian-based staff team, we recognize that out Pivot Ambassadors can greatly benefit from more continuous services and follow-ups during the year. As a result, during our visits we locate the closest most appropriate health services that are locally-based in Nicaragua for the families to be followed throughout the year. We also help with transportation to these facilities.
Yearly Follow-Up and Re-Assessment by Our Team
Each child will be re-visited and reassessed by our Paramedical Team on a yearly basis. At this point the team will determine whether the previously provided equipment is still sufficient or whether upgrades and changes need to be made. The team will also answer the families’ questions and make improvements to whenever possible. If the Pivot Ambassador has grown out of his/her equipment, it is our mandate to provide new, more appropriate equipment. We collect the outgrown pieces and refurbish them to improve another child’s life!
Disability Rights Awareness in Nicaragua
A main explanation for the lack of necessary attention for special needs children in Nicaragua is a governmental and societal lack of awareness as to the full potential of these kids and what they are indeed capable of accomplishing when given the right tools. In rural Nicaragua many households make a living off physical labour, something those with special needs are presumed to be unable to do. Pivot International hopes to get the government and larger community to understand the value of these individuals and ways in which they can be efficiently integrated when their rights and unique needs are respected.
Adapted Education for Pivot Kids
Adapted equipment makes a world of difference for so many special needs children to participate in games and activities they normally would not have been able to do and see the world with a new perspective and more hope for the future. This step in the right direction will be completed once Pivot International is able to provide travelling special needs teachers that can assist our Pivot Kids to integrate academically to their communities multiple times a week. Soon, Pivot International will ensure that a team of local Nicaraguan teachers is adequately trained and transported to the different communities where our Pivot Kids are located to ensure that they are reaching their full potential!
Nicaragua-Based Manufacturing of Equipment
Pivot International hopes to develop a system to manufacture adapted equipment using locally found materials that can be collected and put together by a Nicaraguan manufacturing team. This will create local jobs, sustainable independence and avoid the elevated costs of shipping from Canada.