In all of our projects our primary aim has always been to build in-country capacity to produce high quality protheses and orthoses and to manage efficient orthopaedic workshops – because that is crucial to our projects’ sustainability and long-term success. Therefore, sponsoring the training of new Malawian and Zambian prosthetists and orthotists has been and remains the most important and a key element of what we do.
In the main, our students study for a 3-year diploma but a few have qualified with a 1-year certificate and three have qualified with a degree. In the past, we have sponsored the training of students by sending them to the Tanzania Training Centre for Orthopaedic Technologists (TATCOT) (www.tatcot.org) in Moshi in Tanzania but now we send students to either the Cambodian School of Prosthetics and Orthotics (CSPO) (https://www.exceed-worldwide.org/cambodia ) in Phnom Penh or Mobility India (https://mobility-india.org) and our most recent degree student, Benadeta, upgraded her diploma through a 3-year blended, distance learning course provided by Human Study e.V. (http://www.human-study.org).
All of these schools teach the use of polypropylene technology which is the system that we use and promote for the manufacture of prosthetic and orthotic devices in our projects.
Our training programme is ongoing. Timothy Miti from Zambia is currently studying for a diploma at Mobility India and Alwin Kawonga (pictured above) from Malawi will begin his studies as soon as he is admitted to a course to which travel is permitted and safe. Wherever possible we sponsor people with whom we already have a working relationship as a result of their having worked with us on one of our projects. Sorry but we do not accept unsolicited applications.
500 miles has sponsored the training of a total of 20 African technologists (including two Tanzanian students) for 22 qualifications. You can meet our students and former students below (with the most recent, top left and the earliest, bottom right) – just click on a name to read the story.