Turkey’s Changemakers: Robotel Association enriches lives of children with limb deformity
The Robohand Turkey Association (Robotel Türkiye Derneği), which touches the lives of children with limb deformity, became the 11th Changemaker of the 8th season of the Sabanci Foundation Turkey’s Changemakers Program.
Today, hundreds of people face limb deformity for different reasons. The Amniotic Band Syndrome prevents limb development from birth, creates orthopedic disorders and accidental loss of the limb. These are just a few causes of limb deformity. Such cases that necessitate very costly prosthesis are even more difficult for children. However, until physical development in children is complete, prosthesis cannot be worn, and the situation can cause myolysis, as well as social and psychological issues.
There is a voluntary movement in the world, called “Enabling the Future,” and it provides an alternative to prosthesis, enabling children with limb deformity to have a more comfortable life.
Zeynep Karagöz and her friends started by getting inspiration from this movement.
Karagöz and her friends work for a design agency, which designs products, processes, and spaces. While researching on how 3D painting technology can contribute to our lives, they discovered the “Enabling the Future” movement. They decided to establish the same movement in Turkey in 2014. The network they established was named Robotel Türkiye Derneği in December 2016. Robotel Türkiye aims to provide useful mechanic hands in personalized measures and qualifications, built by 3D printers for people experiencing deformity in the limb or hand or finger loss.
To reach out to these mechanic hands that they call “robot el” (robohand), a beneficiary first contacts the association. The size is measured and the model is later set up. Afterwards, the robohand is built with 3D printers and delivered to the beneficiary. Thus, the robohand facilitates, to some extent, the lives of children. Besides, the fascinating designs of robohands, it also encourages self-confidence and opportunities to socialize for children.
Robotel Türkiye is a non-profit organization. All services are free of charge. The association has more than 700 volunteers all over Turkey. The hands prepared by Robotel Türkiye have helped ease the lives of approximately 25 children until today. They are still working on a numerous cases.
Robotel Türkiye has brought a world-wide voluntary system to Turkey. They even took a step further and established a civil society organization. This set a good example to show how technology can positively affect our lives. They proposed a solution that facilitates the lives of children with limb deformity and gives hope for the future. They provide children physically and psychologically better lives. They have created a huge difference both in the lives of children and their families.