Siblings Luis and Carolina Gonzalez-Bunster explain how Walkabout Foundation was established in August 2009 after a visit to their local YMCA in Connecticut led them to discover that Luis could not enter the building because it lacked a ramp and elevator.
Luis suffered a spinal cord injury in a car accident when he was 18 years old, which left him paralyzed from the chest down. Together, the siblings took action in their community and started the Walkabout Foundation to promote awareness of paralysis and disabilities. Luis and Carolina launched the foundation with an 870 kilometre walk along the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, and Luis became the first person in the history of Spain to cross the entire country using only the strength of his two arms.
Fast forward to 2017 and Walkabout Foundation has distributed over 10,000 wheelchairs in 21 countries, supported 7 rehabilitation projects in Kenya and India, and donated over $1 million to groundbreaking research.
Last year, they held the biggest ever London Walkabout, distributed a record-breaking number of wheelchairs, and opened the Walkabout Daycare and Support Centre in Kenya – a long-held dream that finally became a reality.
In some areas of the world, such as Kenya and Uganda, a different approach to standard wheelchairs needs to be used, so Walkabout Foundation introduced trikes. These incredibly designed tricycles allow users to get to school or work quickly and can be used in rugged terrain and designed to withstand wear.