California Woman Celebrates 'World Peace Day' by Presenting Crutches to Thousands of People Crippled by War and Disease in Sierra Leone

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In what may well be the most dramatic social action (change) effort in history, the non-profit Peace Project’s Operation Rise celebrated World Peace Day by presenting crutches and mobility devices to men, women and children who lost limbs to war or who suffer from polio at eight distribution centers in Sierra Leone.

Sierra Leone war victim receives crutches from Peace Project's Operation Rise

Progress is moving at glacial speed on so many important issues even though people want to help. My goal is to create a direct connection between people and results at a pace not often seen through traditional aid initiatives.

In what may well be the most dramatic social action (change) effort in history, the non-profit Peace Project’s Operation Rise celebrated World Peace Day by presenting crutches and mobility devices to men, women and children who lost limbs to war or who suffer from polio at eight distribution centers in Sierra Leone.

Operation Rise is the brainchild of The Peace Project’s founder Lisa Schultz, who left behind a successful career in advertising to tackle solvable problems that bring the world a step closer to peace. In 2010, Schultz traveled to Sierra Leone and witnessed a heartbreaking scene. People crippled by war and disease had been reduced to crawling or hobbling everywhere because they could not afford crutches or other mobility devices. When she returned to her Los Angeles home, she conceived Operation Rise and took immediate action.

In little more than a year, Schultz and a handful of dedicated volunteers gathered a team of the world’s leading Non-Government Organizations including UNICEF and Handicap International to shepherd the crutches through Customs and transport them to eight distribution sites located throughout Sierra Leone. She also assembled an unprecedented grass-roots team of over 500 people that includes medical professionals, amputees, polio survivors and national and local advocacy groups to organize the individual events and “fit” the people of Sierra Leone with crutches. Using the nation’s revered Amputee Soccer League for security, Operation Rise succeeded in delivering the life-changing crutches to the vast disabled population of Sierra Leone, where over 20% of the world’s amputees live.

Hoping to establish a new model for social action, Schultz has begun aggregating the perspectives of innovative thinkers world-wide in search of other sustainable and “change the world in a day” initiatives for The Peace Project. “Progress is moving at glacial speed on so many important issues even though people want to help. My goal is to create a direct connection between people and results at a pace not often seen through traditional aid initiatives.” Schultz said.

To make a tax deductible contribution or for more information, visit http://www.thepeaceproject.com

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