Helice prosthesis to focus its charitable NGO commitment on two main associations.
Helice prosthesis has chosen to focus its charitable NGO commitment on two main associations. The first is Handicap International (Humanity & Inclusion). The second is e-Nable France created in late 2015. Why did we choose them? Well it’s not because “we have to choose”, but because, in addition to sharing our values, these two associations complement each other perfectly. We asked ourselves the question: what is our very top priority in financing an association while remaining in our sector — orthopaedics? Answer: children. These two associations, although far from being the only ones, have adapted their assistance to serve a target group that also includes young children. This isn’t necessarily easy to do, because as we know, basic prosthesis equipment (i.e. aesthetic and without mechanical or electronic devices) costs more for a child than for an adult. The reason is that a child grows very quickly making the prosthesis just as quickly obsolete. Similarly, rehabilitation care for children demands additional time and resources. Medical and paramedical staff need be trained in the particularities of children as well as in pedagogy so they can make exercises that are boring or even painful for children fun. Handicap International’s rehabilitation centres are recognised throughout the world for their quality and their ability to follow their patients long term. They have brought much joy where, in a child’s world, the imagination, despite its omnipotence, cannot recreate the lost limb. As for the second association, e-Nable has chosen to fight the prices for prostheses manufactured using 3D printing head on by offering them at the lowest possible price: free! Beneficiaries of these prostheses include children and young adults with agenesis. This spoke to us directly and we were immediately on board. In concrete terms, they connect “people who need a device with people who can make it”. Donations are used to finance the materials alone since the makers are not paid. In order for it to work, such a network has to be surrounded by people you can trust, relying on the solid skills of both technophiles and humanists, and passionate volunteers. This process takes time. But that’s just what the e-Nable association has managed to do. They collaborate with other fablabs around the world who specialise in the manufacture of low-cost prostheses. Together, they improve their respective practices and share their work in open source.