News Release

Church partners with Malaysia Foundation to provide wheelchairs to disabled

On September 26, 2014 in Petaling Jaya, Malaysia, LDS Charities in partnership with Beautiful Gate Foundation, held a day of celebration and delivery of wheelchairs to disabled Malaysians in need. Much to the surprise and delight of everyone, three women in wheelchairs performed a lively Western wheelchair dance in costume.

LDS Charities was established in 1996 by The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to enhance Church involvement in relief and development activities throughout the world. The Wheelchair Initiative strives to improve mobility, health, as well as educational and economic opportunities for people with physical disabilities. In cooperation with local organizations, LDS Charities works to improve the services provided to the physically disabled and distribute manual wheelchairs or walking aids appropriate to individual needs and circumstances.  Since 2001, LDS Charities have distributed more than a half of a million wheelchairs in 95 countries.  

On this occasion, sixteen wheelchair recipients were assessed and fitted with new wheelchairs. It is the hope of Beautiful Gate Foundation and LDS Charities that many more recipients will be identified, assessed, and fit for needed wheelchairs. Wheel chairs are provided at no cost to the recipient. Several Mormon Helping Hands Volunteers also provided help unloading wheelchairs and assisting the disabled. 

Humanitarian Missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints met Pastor Sia Siew Chin in 2014 and determined that Beautiful Gate Foundation and LDS Charities were a perfect fit. 

Beautiful Gate Foundation was founded in 1993 under the guidance by Pastor Sia, a gentle soft-spoken woman  who was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy at age four. As a youth she experienced the struggles which can affect those with limited mobility and vowed to do something throughout her life to assist the disabled. Pastor Sia Siew Chin is known throughout Malaysia as "the Iron Lady in a Wheelchair".

Since 1995, Beautiful Gate has provided customized programs for the disabled which allow them to heal physically, emotionally or mentally.  Pastor Sia said, "Some have dreams of studying, so we get them tutors and send them to school.  Others are taught basic skills so that they can be independent and also earn a living.  And yet others are taught how to ride a special motorbike so they can travel by themselves." Beautiful Gate has expanded to eight centers throughout Western Malaysia and is led by staff who are also disabled. Each center has a volunteer live-in staff. 

Pastor Sia and Ivy Pua, Superintendent, will receive training as LDS Charity Wheelchair Assessor Trainers in January 2015. Southeast  Asia Wheelchair Specialists from LDS Charities will conduct 2, three-day training sessions.  Beautiful Gate will partner with International Rotary Club 3300, LDS Charities' wheelchair distributor in West Malaysia, to set up a temporary wheelchair bank where people who need a wheelchair for a limited time due to an accident, hospital recovery, or wheelchair repair can receive short-term use of a wheelchair.  Beautiful Gate will also be instrumental in developing a wheelchair repair center operated by the disabled to serve LDS Charity wheelchair recipients throughout West Malaysia.   

Pastor Sia states "This is my offering to God. When a seed is planted you take care so it will develop.  Giving a disabled person mobility is the same, we see his potential and do all we can so that person can grow!" From LDS Charities comes the quote "One’s ability should never be judged upon his mobility, but upon his character."

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