Joni and Friends debuts the Cub wheelchair to better serve pediatric chair users

For 30 years, Joni and Friends has distributed restored wheelchairs in low-resource countries

Agoura Hills, CA, May 02, 2024 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- When Joni and Friends distributes wheelchairs in low-resource countries, people with disabilities arrive being pushed in wheelbarrows, dragged on mats, or carried by loved ones. 

The global need for a wheelchair is growing every year, and demand always outpaces donations. We know this because after every Wheels for the World wheelchair outreach, hundreds of people are left still waiting—including children.  

To meet the growing need for pediatric wheelchairs, Joni and Friends was pleased to help develop a next-generation pediatric mobility device, the Cub wheelchair.  

Joni and Friends worked with the manufacturer to develop features to better suit the wheelchair for environments in developing nations like narrow doorways, unpaved streets, and small vehicles.

Joni and Friends was invited to speak into the design process because our organization has distributed over 225,000 wheelchairs around the globe through our Wheels for the World program, which since 1994 has provided restored wheelchairs that are lovingly fit to each individual in developing countries. 

Our Wheels for the World program started with small wheelchair drives in schools and churches. Now in its 30th year, Wheels for the World is supported by one dozen wheelchair restoration centers, including 11 that operate out of correctional facilities in the U.S. and provide incarcerated individuals with the dignity of a helpful trade. 

Contributions to the Cub chair from our experts resulted in innovations like the ability to tilt in space, a third wheel to navigate austere terrain, and an adjustable seat that allows critical modifications to be made without a skilled mechanic, making it possible for the chair to grow with the child. But most importantly, the Cub chair can collapse down and be taken apart to fit into a car, or easily transported upstairs.  

Designed for austere conditions, the Cub wheelchair made its Wheels for the World debut at our 2023 outreach in the Philippines. Since then, we have delivered these wheelchairs in countries including Uganda, Guatemala and Thailand, with hundreds more set to be distributed this summer. 

Joni and Friends distributes a variety of pediatric wheelchairs through our Wheels for the World outreaches, including restored wheelchairs. No chair is one-size-fits-all. But the Cub wheelchair is a valuable option that helps us accommodate some of the world’s most vulnerable children. 

Eighty million around the globe need a wheelchair, but less than 35% have access to one. Properly fitted wheelchairs can change lives.

Learn more about the Cub chair:

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 across the globe. Ministry programs include Joni’s House, Wheels for the World, Family Retreats, and disability ministry training. Joni and Friends also delivers daily inspirational media through radio programs and podcasts. To find out more, please visit  



A pediatric wheelchair for all environments

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