El Salvador recognizes L.A. County-based nonprofit for disability advocacy

Agoura Hills, CA, Dec. 20, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- In recognition for its work in eliminating physical, social and emotional barriers for people living with disability, Joni and Friends, an international disability ministry that provides practical care to people living with special needs around the globe, received a national honor from the government of El Salvador. El Salvador's National Council for the Inclusion of People with Disabilities (CONAIPD) bestowed the award on the International Day of Persons with Disabilities to recognize Joni and Friends as a strategic partner in promoting the respect of human rights and the inclusion of persons with disabilities.

Joni and Friends serves individuals and families through Joni’s House El Salvador, which provides holistic care including physical therapies and medical intervention, mobility support, job training, spiritual resources and community. This is where local disability professionals identify and address critical spiritual, physical, social and economic needs. Joni and Friends also employs people living with disability and their families through a work training program at their El Salvador wheelchair restoration center, which supplies mobility devices that have been restored to like-new condition for Joni and Friends Wheels for the World™ outreaches.

The government of El Salvador recognized Joni and Friends in concert with the 30th anniversary of CONAIPD, a national agency tasked with eliminating the barriers that prevent people with disabilities and their families from transforming their quality of life.

“This award motivates me and everyone at Joni and Friends El Salvador to continue serving people with disabilities, dignifying their lives and raising awareness about their inclusion in society,” said Claudia Aguirre, Joni and Friends International Regional Manager for Central America, who lives with quadriplegia. “We thank God for giving us the privilege to serve him and be instruments in his hands.” 

The Joni and Friends restoration center in El Salvador was the organization’s first disability center established outside of the United States.

“We take pride in representing Joni and Friends in our country as we extend God's kingdom,” said Monica Aguirre, Director of Joni’s House El Salvador. “This recognition reveals, once again, the purpose God has for our lives as it gives meaning to hardship. It reinforces our commitment to people living with disability and their families.” 

Joni and Friends was founded in 1979 by Joni Eareckson Tada after a diving accident left her paralyzed. Since then, she has successfully advocated for the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act and served on the National Council on Disability, as well as the Disability Advisory Committee at the U.S. State Department. Her namesake nonprofit has provided more than 200,000 wheelchairs worldwide and served 64,000 individuals with special needs and their families through its Retreats and Getaways.

About Joni and Friends 
For more than 40 years, Joni and Friends has provided the hope of the Gospel and practical care to people living with disability around the globe. Ministry programs include Joni’s House, Wheels for the World™, Retreats and Getaways and disability ministry training. Joni and Friends also delivers daily inspirational media through radio and podcasts. To find out more, please visit www.joniandfriends.org
For more information contact Amy Hurtado, VP of Marketing & Engagement, at 818-707-5664 or pr@joniandfriends.org



One wheel at a time Award recognizes international disability advocacy

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