10-year-old Thai-Danish Girl Turns Beer Tabs into Prostheses
DENMARK – A 10-year-old Thai-Danish girl from Hee in Western Jutland, Denmark has started a project to collect beer caps and recycled plastic that can be remade as comfortable lightweight prostheses, MX News reports.
Vanessa Kastner herself has roots in Thailand and it was during a family visit in Thailand in 2010 that she learned about the project. It’s a Thai doctor, dr. Therdcahi Jivacate, who construct the prostheses, that costs ten times less than imported prostheses.
As soon as Vanessa Kastner returned to Denmark she urged family and friends to collect beer caps to a prostheses project constituted by the Royal Danish Princess. Her ambition was to collect caps enough for at least two prostheses.
Last year when she reach her goal, and went back to Thailand to visit her grandmother, she had the honor to hand over her gatherings of caps to Dr. Therdchai Jivacate himself. In exchange for the donation he gave her a personal tour and presentation on his project.
Before christmas 2015 Vanessa decided to collect caps at her school – at this time she has collected 50 kilograms of caps enough for twenty prostheses ready to be handed over to Dr. Therdchai Jivacate.
The Prostheses Foundation
Dr. Therdchai Jivacate is under patronage by the princess mother for The Prosthesis Foundation which was established in 1992 with the intention to improve the lives of amputees.
The main work of the foundation is to produce artificial legs free of charge for amputees so that they can have a better quality of life and be more mobile. The prosthetic legs are made from plastic and aluminum.
The foundation is groundbreaking in the fact that after previously importing expensive material and machinery from abroad they now economically produce their own machines and even create their own materials using recycled items such as Yakult bottles and drinks can ring pulls. The foundation also repair legs if they are broken or damaged.
The foundation is advanced in research, development and innovation for the production of better artificial legs. Many of the employees are themselves amputees, and as Dr. Therdchai Jivacate advises us they have all come in very useful as guinea pigs for testing out new designs.
The foundation offers free workshops and accommodation to train others about the making of prosthesis. The foundation has headed projects in other countries including Burundi and Senegal, Africa and Banda Aceh, Indonesia. Similarly to Thailand, people in these countries cannot afford expensive prosthesis so these workshops are indispensible to communities. People in each country were taught how to make quality and inexpensive and prosthesis by themselves.
The main reason for the loss of legs in Thailand is road accidents other reasons include diabetes, landmines, birth defects, bombs and other accidents. In other countries landmines and natural disasters such as tsunami were other causes for the loss of limbs.
If you want to support this impressive and dynamic foundation, you can donate money by credit card, cheque, in person or via the post office. You can also help by collecting aluminum drinks bottle or can lids and ring pulls and women’s tights and donating them directly to the foundation, plastic drinks bottles are no longer required. Perhaps you can even set up a collection base at your organisation, school or office.
Visitors are welcome to visit the foundation. The major office is in Mae Rim, Chiang Mai and the other office is in Bangkok at Department of Medical Sciences Building beside Hua Chiew Hospital.
If you would like more information or would like to make a donation or volunteer please contact:
Chiang Mai Prostheses Foundation of H.R.H. The Princess Mother
199 Moo.4 Donkaew Maerim District, Chiang Mai, 50180
053 112 2713.
Bangkok Prostheses Foundation of H.R.H. The Princess Mother
Department of Medical Sciences Building (beside Hua Chiew Hospital)
693 Bomrungmuang Road, Pubplachai District, Pomprasatthupai, Bangkok ,10100
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