WALKABOUT FOUNDATION ANNUAL REPORT 2015
CONTENTS WHO WE ARE Our Story Our Mission The Need Our Impact Our History
WHAT WE DO
Our 3-Pronged Approach Investing in Research Working Towards a Cure Our Wheelchair Footprint The Wheelchair Delivery Process Inspirational Stories Our Rehabilitation Centres
HOW WE FUNDRAISE The Walkabout Inaugural Gala London Walkabout Sporting Events Brand Partnerships Schools on Board One Container Campaign
IN THE PRESS
Press Coverage Awards & Recognitions
OUR FAMILY Our Board Our Team
FINANCIALS Income Expenses
Get Involved with Walkabout
06 08 10 12 14
18 20 22 24 26 28 32 36 40 42 43 44 45 48 50 54 55
58 59 62
WHO WE ARE
n June 23, 1994 our family changed forever when Luis sustained a spinal
cord injury in a car accident, leaving him paralysed from the chest down. It devastated us all, but in 2009 we found a way to channel our pain into something positive. A visit to our local YMCA in Connecticut led us to discover that Luis could not enter the building because it lacked a ramp and elevator. Together, we took action and started Walkabout Foundation. What started as our family’s courageous battle to change a town has turned into a global mission to help people with disabilities around the world, donating thousands of wheelchairs, while in tandem funding research to find a cure for paralysis. We have also begun providing much needed rehabilitation services and support to our wheelchair recipients, their families and communities. None of this would be possible without the generosity of our donors. Your contribution has enabled us to get one step closer to our vision of a world free from paralysis, and a society where mobility is a right, not a privilege. Thank you from the bottom of our hearts. Luis and Carolina Gonzalez-Bunster Co-Founders of Walkabout Foundation
Our mission is to restore dignity, freedom and independence by providing wheelchairs in the developing world and funding research to find a cure for paralysis.
Until you have seen a person trying to maintain dignity while crawling along the ground by his knuckles, you can’t imagine what this little chair would do.” President Bill Clinton
100 million 65 million
PEOPLE IN THE WORLD NEED A WHEELCHAIR.
PEOPLE CANNOT AFFORD ONE.
SOMEONE IS SPINAL CORD INJURED IN THE UNITED STATES, IN INDIA EVERY
15 minutes. 2% 1 50 6%
OF THE U.S. POPULATION IS PARALYSED.
OF THE POPULATION
NEEDS A WHEELCHAIR.
WE ARE ALL
OF SEPARATION AWAY FROM PARALYSIS.
30,000 LIVES IMPACTED
GIVEN TO GROUNDBREAKING RESEARCH
OUR HISTORY JULY 2013 A Walkabout team completes the Three Peaks Challenge and climbs the 3 highest mountains in Great Britain in under 24 hours.
OCTOBER 2011 Walkabout hosts the national premiere of the film The Way in New York with President Bill Clinton.
AUGUST 2009 Co-Founders, Luis and Carolina launch Walkabout by completing the full 870-kilometre route of the Camino de Santiago in Spain.
MAY 2010 Walkabout sends the first 400 RoughRider wheelchairs to Haiti.
MAY 2011 Walkabout expands into Africa with the distribution of 250 wheelchairs in Rwanda.
The National Pakistan Wheelchair Cricket Team wins the International Cricket Cup with Walkabout wheelchairs.
FEBRUARY 2012 We expand our work into Asia with the distribution of 300 wheelchairs in Pakistan.
Walkabout reaches the halfway mark towards its 1 million dollar pledge towards groundbreaking research.
NOVEMBER 2012 Carolina gives a TEDx talk in Berlin.
Walkabout turns 5 and returns to the Camino de Santiago.
Walkabout trains first group of Kenyans to become wheelchair providers following World Health Organisation guidelines.
DECEMBER 2015 We return to India and agree to set up our first 6 rehabilitation centres there.
OCTOBER 2011 Walkabout starts funding the pioneering work of Dr. Reggie Edgerton with a 1 million dollar pledge.
OCTOBER 2008 A movement begins. Luis and Carolina fight for wheelchair accessibility at their local YMCA in Greenwich, Connecticut.
Walkabout accompanies President Bill Clinton to Haiti post the devastating earthquake.
The first London Walkabout takes place in Hyde Park with over 1,000 attendees.
NOVEMBER 2010 We are honoured with the Christopher and Dana Reeve Spirit of Courage Award for our work.
JULY 2014 We hit 5,000 wheelchairs distributed, worth over £1 million.
AUGUST 2012 Leon Gaisli, who received his first wheelchair from Walkabout, takes part in the London Paralympics representing Haiti.
JUNE 2015 President Bill Clinton is the keynote speaker at our Inaugural Gala in London.
APRIL 2013 Carolina receives the Young Leadership Award at the Henry Street Settlement Gala in New York.
JUNE 2014 We expand into India with 250 Leveraged Freedom Chairs.
DECEMBER 2014 Research funded by Walkabout helps 4 paralysed men regain voluntarily movement, bladder and bowel control.
WHAT WE DO
OUR 3-PRONGED APPROACH
hilst our scientists work incessantly to find a cure for paralysis, we have made it our mission to improve the quality of life of people with disabilites through the provision of wheelchairs and rehabilitation. This 3-pronged approach means that we tackle the issue from all angles, ensuring that we create a sustainable model that provides short as well as long term solutions.
In collaboration with our local partners, we are establishing a number of centres around the world to provide rehabilitation services and vocational training to adults and children with physical disabilities, with the hope that they will acquire the tools needed to fully integrate into their communities.
All of this because... it’s not just mobility, it’s possibility.
INVESTING IN RESEARCH
he spinal cord is made up of millions of nerve cells that carry electrical signals from the brain to other parts of the body. When a spinal cord injury occurs, the connection between the brain and the spinal cord is severed resulting in what is presumed a lifelong loss of feeling and function below the site of injury. We’ve made it our mission to find a way to bridge the gap between the brain and spinal cord. Dr. Reggie Edgerton from the University of California, Los Angeles has also made this his lifelong work, specialising in a groundbreaking and globally acclaimed treatment known as epidural stimulation. To date, Walkabout has invested £700,000 in Dr. Edgerton’s pioneering research. Put simply, epidural stimulation involves implanting a medical device about the size of a french fry near the spinal cord. This device emits an electrical current, that when combined with physical therapy, the impossible is able to happen: the dormant spinal cord is jolted back to life.
We’re at the edge of really being able to identify some interventions that are going to make a difference in the well-being of individuals with spinal cord injuries. We have not been in such a position in my lifetime.”
Thanks to this research, nearly a dozen paralysed men have gained the ability to voluntarily move their own limbs. And what’s more, something totally unexpected happened; these individuals have regained their bladder and bowel control, sexual function, and the ability to sweat, which is typically lost with paralysis. These outcomes are without a doubt cures in and of themselves.
Dr. Reggie Edgerton Distinguished Professor of Neurobiology, UCLA
WORKING TOWARDS A CURE
ob Summers is one of the 12 paralysed individuals who has undergone Dr. Edgerton’s treatment thanks to Walkabout’s support. In 2006, a hit-and-run accident left Rob paralysed from the chest down at 20 years old. Well on his way to becoming a professional baseball player, Rob’s hopes and dreams were shattered. He then met Dr. Edgerton and his team in 2009 and was the first person to be implanted with the epidural stimulator. Rob achieved and continues to realise amazing progress. He has regained his bowel and bladder control, sexual function and can now regulate his body’s temperature. After his accident, Rob was unable to sweat, which meant he could easily overheat. Now, thanks to Dr. Edgerton’s treatment, Rob can sit under the sun all day and coach youth baseball. “Paralysis is not just about movement,” Dr. Susan Harkema, who works with Dr. Edgerton, has said. “Everything in your life is harder, you can’t go outside because you can’t regulate your temperature. You can’t go to a restaurant because you can’t go to the bathroom. It takes 2 to 3 hours to get up and out of your house, so anything that alleviates any of those complications makes people’s lives so much better.”
It has changed my life on a day-to-day basis. Not only has this benefited me with the confidence to go out and do what I want to do, I can continue to live my life as I choose. I truly believe this is the greatest thing out there.” Rob Summers First patient to undergo epidural stimulation
The research we are funding is dramatically improving the quality of life for these individuals who have been implanted with the epidural stimulator, and is giving hope to the millions of people who live with the devastating reality of paralysis on a daily basis.
OUR WHEELCHAIR FOOTPRINT
DOMINICAN REPUBLIC: 650
PAKISTAN: 550 INDIA: 510
EL SALVADOR: 250
KENYA: 630 INDONESIA: 50
RWANDA: 330 ARGENTINA: 550
THE WHEELCHAIR DELIVERY PROCESS
From the moment we identify our recipient list, the wheels
are set in motion and the delivery process begins. Over 12 months, a lot of attention goes into compiling, delivering and distributing a container of 250 wheelchairs, each of which are bespoke and fitted to each recipient’s individual needs.” Izzy Cumming-Bruce Programmes Manager
STEP 8 STEP 7
Our container is loaded and shipped to the specific country.
The container arrives, clears customs and is trucked to our local partner where the chairs are unloaded, inspected and counted.
The Walkabout team arrives! Alongside our local partner we assemble and fit each chair to every single recipient.
Post distribution we follow up with our wheelchair recipients via our local partner.
Chairs go into production.
STEP 3 Our local partner sends us a detailed list of recipients so we can start putting together a container of 200-300 wheelchairs.
STEP 1 We identify a need or receive a request for wheelchairs.
We select an experienced local partner specialising in disability.
TIME FROM START TO FINISH
We pick a suitable chair for each individual according to their specific condition, body size and needs.
We place our order with a carefully selected and tested wheelchair supplier.
INSPIRATIONAL STORIES Leon’s Story Haiti
Shifan’s Story Uganda
Two years later, not even Leon could have imagined where that chair would take him. In 2012, he became just one of three Haitians ever to represent his nation at the London Paralympics.
In 2015, Walkabout gave Shifan her very first ToughRider wheelchair. Having a wheelchair means Shifan can now go to school, play, learn, and make friends. The happiest of students, Shifan is the pride and joy of her class. This wheelchair has given her freedom, independence and access to education.
hen the earthquake hit Haiti in 2010, Leon Gaisli lost everything. His home was flattened, his wife and all eight of his children were killed and when he was pulled from the rubble, he was paralysed from the waist down. For Leon, his RoughRider wheelchair represented a means to regain his physical strength and sense of purpose in life.
even-year-old Shifan was left paralysed when she was struck by cerebral malaria as a small child. Her mother carried her everywhere until she became too heavy and had no choice but to leave Shifan at home while she went to work.
INSPIRATIONAL STORIES Charity Nana Laikipia, Kenya
Our Impact in Laikipia • 600 wheelchairs distributed since 2014. • 3 0 tricycles donated to enable people
to travel long distances to get to work and school.
• 1 2 locals trained to the World Health Organisation’s Intermediate Level.
• C reated a network of committed volunteers who devote their time to seeking out and identifying recipients over a 500km radius.
ow all requests are coming from counties •N
outside Laikipia and even as far as Somalia.
KENYA Laikipia County Nairobi
Walkabout has eradicated the need for wheelchairs in the county of Laikipia.
harity Nana (yes, her first name is Charity!) experienced a lifetime of isolation and continually struggled to gain acceptance in her community. Since receiving one of our ToughRider wheelchairs in 2014, she has devoted her life to supporting the disabled. She visits parents and guardians of children with disabilities, bringing practical help, encouragement and fresh hope to those who are so often ignored.
OUR REHABILITATION CENTRES India
INDIA Visakhapatnam Bangalore
ogether with selected local partners, we have established 6 rehabilitation centres in India. One of our centres, located in Visakhapatnam, is the first and only rehabilitation centre on a coastline of 2,000 kilometres. Our four centres in Bangalore provide much needed in-and-out patient rehabilitation services for those who are spinal cord injured, including vocational training programmes, such as gardening, to bring a number of these individuals into the workforce. Our sixth centre in Varanasi provides daycare to children with severe disabilities and training to parents on how to best look after their little ones.
n Laikipia, Kenya, alongside our experienced partner, UDPL, we are setting up a day care centre for children with disabilities. Here, children will receive daily care, therapy and education at a critical stage in their development with the aim of integrating the children into mainstream education or special schools after 1 to 2 years. The centre will also provide critical relief to single mothers who often are stuck with the desperate choice of looking after their disabled child or earning a living, by allowing them the opportunity to go to work and provide for their families.
Dominican Republic Hospital Mirebalais
e are returning to Haiti, where it all began 6 years ago, 6 days after the devastating 2010 earthquake when we donated our first container of wheelchairs. We are going back to build our first Walkabout centre at Hospital Mirebalais in Central Plateau in partnership with Partners in Health. The Walkabout Haiti Centre will not only be a rehabilitation centre, but also a place that embodies social and economic empowerment, by providing wheelchair riders with vocational training and a community hub for educational and personal development. 33
HOW WE FUNDRAISE
THE WALKABOUT INAUGURAL GALA
THE WALKABOUT INAUGURAL GALA
PRINCESS TATIANA AND PRINCE NIKOLAOS OF GREECE
n June 27, 2015 we hosted our Inaugural Gala at the Natural History Museum in London with President Bill Clinton and 400 attendees. An extraordinary success, our very first gala raised over £1,600,000.
NATALIA VODIANOVA & ANTOINE ARNAULT
Underneath the 84 foot long dinosaur, our guests were moved to tears by heartfelt speeches from our co-founders, Luis and Carolina, and you could hear a pin drop when our keynote speaker President Bill Clinton took to the stage to give a moving speech on the work we do. Tania Bryer was our Master of Ceremonies and with auctioneer Simon de Pury, the live auction alone raised over £450,000 with once-in-a-lifetime opportunities to have lunch with Damien Hirst and go race car driving with Jenson Button. With cocktails sponsored by Boujis, the magical evening culminated in a performance by Nile Rodgers, who invited guests up on stage to dance and sing along with him.
PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON
NILE RODGERS THE GONZALEZ-BUNSTER FAMILY
SIMON DE PURY
ondon Walkabout is our annual flagship event and London’s only truly inclusive 5k charity walk, which brings together walkers and wheelchair users alike to raise awareness about disability, acceptance and inclusion. The walk takes place in iconic Hyde Park, where we challenge participants to be a #WalkaboutHero and walk for those who can’t. The event includes live entertainment, lots of fun and games for children as well as adults, and is followed by a picnic lunch. Over 1,000 people attended our walk last year, accompanied by their parents, siblings, dogs, friends and extended family members.
alkabout relies on enthusiastic athletes who dare to challenge themselves to cycle 100 miles, climb the three highest peaks in Great Britain, run 50 marathons in a year, and walk across Spain. Each one of these individuals not only raises awareness of our cause, but also fundraises on our behalf. Prudential RideLondon-100, the Paris Marathon, and the Camino de Santiago are just a few of the sporting events we participate in each year.
DIEGO GONZALEZ-BUNSTER AT RIDELONDON
ILIAS MALETIOU AT PARIS MARATHON
hen we were introduced to the idea of cause marketing over 7 years ago, we couldn’t help but get excited about for-profits collaborating with non-profits.
ALONG THE VIA FRANCIGENA IN ITALY
At Walkabout, we partner with different brands to create exclusive merchandise that elevates awareness and shopping days that donate a percentage of sales to our cause.
LAURA PORCELLA MAYOL AT NEW YORK MARATHON
Since inception, we have partnered with multiple brands, both big and small. With e-commerce fashion sites such as Nine In The Mirror and Moda Operandi, we have raised over £50,000, and with the Italian luxury brand Tod’s, we have created a long-lasting partnership with events all over the world including Amsterdam, Miami and London.
SCHOOLS ON BOARD
ONE CONTAINER CAMPAIGN
GREENWICH COUNTRY DAY SCHOOL
ot surprisingly, students are becoming our biggest advocates and the voices of our cause. We’ve been fortunate enough to be the sponsored charity of the year at different schools on different sides of the Atlantic. From Georgetown University to Greenwich Country Day School to Miss Daisy’s Nursery and Wetherby Senior School, students have raised hundreds of thousands of pounds for us all over the world.
MARYMOUNT SCHOOL OF NEW YORK
WETHERBY SENIOR SCHOOL
MISS DAISY’S NURSERY
t Walkabout, we’ve broken down a wheelchair into its separate parts and asked our supporters to donate anywhere from £13 for a wheel to £200 for an entire chair. By understanding just how tangible each donation is, our supporters have contributed to funding an entire container of 250 wheelchairs. For £50,000, 250 wheelchairs can be built, delivered and personally fitted to each beneficiary, providing hope and possibility for hundreds of people and their families. Over the years, we have had several individuals and companies who have funded country-specific containers. One such donor, Laura Porcella Mayol, ran the New York Marathon and raised over £50,000 for a container for her native Dominican Republic, whilst the generous support of BTIG, LLC funded an entire container to Nepal shortly after last year’s devastating earthquake.
IN THE PRESS
WALKING CITY “Call it top billing. Bill Clinton is set to appear at the New York premiere for Martin Sheen and Emilio Estevez’s film ‘The Way,’ with proceeds benefitting the Walkabout Foundation.”
AFTER ACCIDENT, A NON-PROFIT IS BORN “Ms. Gonzalez-Bunster’s 31-year-old brother Luis, with whom she founded Walkabout, is paralyzed from the waist down from a car accident he suffered at 18. What began as his sister’s (successful) campaign to have a wheelchairaccessible ramp installed at the Greenwich YMCA became the foundation.”
FROM GOLDMAN SACHS TO WALKABOUT: FORGING MY OWN WAY “What limits and borders are we faced with as individuals, as a society? Who or what defines these boundaries? Carolina Gonzalez-Bunster shares her story.”
THE CHIEF HAILS A GOOD CAUSE “Bill Clinton was among VIPs giving their support to the inaugural Walkabout Foundation gala night last week, helping to raise vital funds for the charity which donates wheelchairs to people in need and finances research into finding a cure for paralysis.”
OFF THE WALL “Forget Banksy. It was all about street artists like Mudwig and Vinnie Nylon at the Art of Love party at the Village Underground of Shoreditch held in aid of disability charity Walkabout Foundation.”
UNDER 40 AND SAVING THE WORLD “Devoted to people with physical disabilities, the foundation kicked off its efforts two years ago with a nearly 600 hundred/mile walk-ride (in Luis’s case, in a low-to-the-ground-hand propelled tricycle) along the Camino de Santiago de Compostela, in Spain.”
MY MISSION TO CURE PARALYSIS “I am optimistic that a cure can be found for paralysis. The research scientists I meet say it is no longer if but when.” MEET THE BANKER TURNED FUNDRAISER WHO IS HELPING OTHERS TO GET MOVING THE GOOD GIRLS
“Inspired by the determination of her elder brother, who’d been paralysed in a car accident, former high-flying banker Carolina Gonzalez-Bunster
“Luis is the only person ever to have crossed Spain through the power
used her skills to set up a charity to provide wheelchairs
of his arms and the power of his heart”, said Bill Clinton.
for spinal-injury victims in Haiti.” 49
AWARDS & RECOGNITIONS
Luis becomes the first person in the history of Spain to cross the entire country using just the strength of his arms.
Luis and Carolina are awarded The Humanitarian Award by President Michelle Bachelet of Chile.
Luis and Carolina are awarded the Christopher and Dana Reeve Spirit of Courage Award.
Carolina wins the Rosewood Hotel 30th Anniversary Top 30 Under 30 Award.
Carolina is awarded the Young Leadership Award at the Henry Street Settlement Gala in New York.
Carolina wins Woman of the Future Award in London.
Evening Standard ranks Carolina as one of London’s 1,000 Most Influential People in Philanthropy.
Carolina gives her first TEDx talk in Berlin.
In her book It’s Your World, Chelsea Clinton publicly acknowledges Walkabout Foundation’s work “in helping kids in the developing world get wheelchairs to go to school and be able to get around.”
Carolina is named Top 35 Women Under 35 in the United Kingdom by The Sunday Times.
OUR FAMILY Our Board
ISABEL FALKENBERG CEO
ALEXANDER VAN HOLK
HEAD OF FUNDRAISING
PHOTOGRAPHY & VIDEO
Expenses Individuals 10.3%
Admin, Salaries & Overhead 5.6% Governance 1.4%
Corporates 2.4% Foundations 2.4%
Fundraising & Development 20.5%
Committed to Programmes in 2016 48.0%
TOTAL INCOME £2,068,572 $3,161,812
TOTAL EXPENSES £1,830,819 $2,798,407
Events 81.6% Programmes in 2015 24.5%
TOTAL INCOME Individuals
TOTAL EXPENSES $326,044
Admin, Salaries & Overhead
Fundraising & Development
Programmes in 2015
Committed to Programmes in 2016
FUNDS RAISED SINCE INCEPTION (£)
FUNDS DISTRIBUTED SINCE INCEPTION (£)
FUNDS RAISED SINCE INCEPTION
FUNDS DISTRIBUTED SINCE INCEPTION
Income and Expenses are pro-forma Walkabout UK and Walkabout US combined financials and are based on an average USD/GBP exchange rate of 1.5285 for 2015. Funds distributed since inception are based on average USD/GBP annual exchange rates since 2010.
GET INVOLVED WITH WALKABOUT
Get the Wheels in Motion
Go a Step Further
our support is vital and makes the Walkabout mission come to life. Please give generously so we can bring dignity, freedom and independence to thousands more.
Look how far your money can go:
BUY WHEELCHAIR COMPONENTS
e’re a global community of supporters here at Walkabout and it would be great to have you join us. Here are just a few ways you can spread the word about what we do and help raise awareness and vital funds to make a real difference.
Get Walking From London to New York, the Dominican Republic to Pakistan, join one of our fundraising walks, or set up your own.
Front Wheel (x2)
Arm Rest (x2)
TRAIN A LOCAL HEALTHCARE TEAM
PAY FOR SHIPPING & DISTRIBUTION
FUND A RESEARCH PROJECT
BUY A WHOLE CONTAINER OF 250 CHAIRS
DONATE A WHOLE WHEELCHAIR
Do something you love and create a fundraising page on our website to get your friends and family involved.
Get Social Tell your friends, share our stories and raise awareness of our cause through: @WalkaboutOrg Walkabout Foundation
Walkabout UK 26 Cadogan Square London SW1X 0JP
Walkabout US 1 Atlantic Street, Suite 300 Stamford, Connecticut 06901
Tel: +44 (0)207 581 3680
Tel: +1 203 629 5290
Email: [email protected]
UK Registered Charity: 1140850 US Registered 501(c) (3): 37-1582823