World Wide Foundation
The inherent desire of man to do something for his less fortunate fellow transcends religious dogmas, political beliefs, and geographical barriers. To believe in rehabilitation is to believe in humanity.”
HOWARD A. RUSK, M.D., FOUNDER, WORLD REHABILITATION FUND
The World Rehabilitation Fund (WRF) was established in 1955 by the “father of rehabilitation medicine”, Dr. Howard A. Rusk. Since then, WRF has worked as a humanitarian non-profit private voluntary organization and helped serve over 4 million people with disabilities in more than 150 countries.
For more than five decades, WRF’s mission has been to focus on all aspects of rehabilitation by devoting funds to initiate, develop, and implement rehabilitation programs targeting people with disabilities. With headquarters of WRF in New York, United States of America, today WRF is operating in five other countries: Lebanon, Mozambique, Cambodia, Sierra Leone, and Dominican Republic.
WRF has been implementing programs in nearly all areas of rehabilitation and through virtually all types of rehabilitation service providers, giving hope and help to people in Lebanon since the early 1970s. Our preliminary programs mainly involved training activities and material assistance. Later programs involved both technical and material assistance in all fields of rehabilitation and social welfare.
In June 1987, WRF inaugurated its local office in Lebanon and was later registered as a local organization by official decree from the Lebanese Council of Ministers. With time, experience, and availability of resources, WRF-Lebanon has expanded its programs and activities, leading so far to a track record of five major programs, several pilot projects, as well as helping more than 220 local agencies to provide services for thousands of disadvantaged individuals.
WRF’s mission is to enable people with disabilities to achieve social integration through rehabilitation. With support from WRF core staff in New York, WRF-Lebanon works closely with teams of consultants as well as concerned others to develop culturally appropriate initiatives that address all aspects of rehabilitation, from treatment through socio-economic reintegration.
WRF believes that all people, regardless of disability, have the right to participate fully in their communities, to attain education and viable employment.
Our Vision and Beliefs
WRF aims at addressing the needs and issues related to the prevention of the various forms of disability, rehabilitation, social integration, and social welfare. WRF has carried on this vision throughout the implementation of its programs with no discrimination as to age, gender, ethnic background, religion, political affiliation, or geographic origin by:
- Upgrading, mobilizing, and organizing native resources and capabilities
- Empowering those concerned
- Influencing policies and affecting sustainable change
- Developing the spirit and practice of self-reliance and self-sustainability
The WRF staff works closely with local and international partners to develop culturally appropriate initiatives that address all aspects of rehabilitation, from incident through reintegration by following these guiding principles:
- Strengthening the capacity of indigenous organizations to better meet the needs of people in states of disadvantage due to various forms of disabilities.
- Developing community-based programs for physical, psychological, and socio-economic rehabilitation and reintegration.
- Upgrading skills of rehabilitation service providers such as physicians, therapists, health promoters, nurses, social workers, and vocational rehabilitation specialists.
- Collaborating with industry and local professionals to enhance vocational training, skills-building, and job placement programs to create sustainable employment and income-generating entrepreneurial opportunities.
- Training rehabilitation professionals throughout the world in the fabrication and fitting of artificial limbs, orthopedic braces, and other assistive technology appropriate for the geographic area they serve.
- Ensuring that people with disabilities are part of the team from start to finish.