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Western Connecticut State University
Roots And Shoots


 

     Starting in the summer of 1998 and continuing to the present, members of Roots & Shoots groups and the Achilles Track Club for the disabled have been raising money for wheelchairs for both adults and children in Tanzania and the United States.

 

     The program in Tanzania came out of a National Sports Day for the Disabled established by Dr. Rick Asselta, Megan Nelson and Sabastian Endege in 1998 and which continues until today.


 
1011steamtown10      Dr. Asselta is a cancer survivor who took up marathon running as a way to overcome the physical effects of esophageal cancer and has completed over 20 marathons including two ultra-marathons and over 7000 miles of running in the U.S.A. and Africa. Additional physical issues have had him go from running to wheelchair racing competing in New York and Boston and Winning the Steamtown Marathon in Pennsylvania twice.
     Students from Western Connecticut State University as well as high school, middle school and elementary Roots & Shoots students have continued to raise money to provide the wheelchairs.  This enables the recipients in Tanzania to get to work, school and other daily tasks which would otherwise be impossible.
      The hand cycles, which in the United States can cost up to $2000 each, can be made in Tanzania for $100 or less.

 

 

 

     We are currently up to 145 hand cycles and hope to reach 200 by the end of the school year.  We are encouraging groups to decide to raise money ($100) for just one wheelchair. If you or your Roots & Shoots group would like to do so, please contact us...

The most common question we receive about this project is why these people are disabled.  Most of the Tanzanians needing the hand cycles are polio survivors.  Click here to get your Roots & Shoots group involved in raising funds for Polio Vaccinations, they are approximately $1 each.