The Solomon Islands are situated North East of Australia and made up of nearly 1,000 islands spread across thousands of kilometres of Ocean. The UN ranks the Solomon Islands on its list of Least Developed Nations. There are approximately 5,000 people who need a wheelchair in the Solomon Islands, most living in rural areas with limited access to roads. The remoteness and isolation of each island community makes the establishment of rehabilitation services for people with a disability very challenging.
In 2009 Motivation Australia established a pilot wheelchair service in the capital Honiara. In 2010 Motivation Australia launched the Access to Mobility programme, building on our successful partnership with the Community Based Rehabilitation (CBR) Unit of the National Rehabilitation Hospital to extend wheelchair services to five provinces. Our partners would also like to increase the focus on gender equity and explore the reasons why more men have been able to access the pilot service than women.