If we all added one little bit of good, things would get solved really fast.
“We were told to go for death counseling,” says Shona McDonald of the moment in 1984 when doctors told her that her newborn daughter was quadriplegic. “I just couldn’t believe that people would consider your child, your baby, to have no hopes and opportunity—so I set out to prove them wrong.” Has. She. Ever. After searching high and low for the most effective wheelchair for her daughter, McDonald simply chose to design her own. This endeavor led to a discovery: standard, folding wheelchairs don't work on the sandy roads and terrain found throughout much of South Africa. “We can actually prevent kids from developing really bad spinal deformities, just by having the right equipment made,” says McDonald. Determined to bring her newfound knowledge to those who needed it most, McDonald founded Shonaquip in 1992. Since then, the business has designed, manufactured, and sold customized assistive devices to more than 3,000 wheelchair users in South Africa, Namibia, Zambia, and Zimbabwe.
TakePart travelled to the Skoll World Forum in Oxford, England, to pick the brains of the world’s biggest thinkers. These Innovators in Action are changing the face of the future with bold new ideas and profound enthusiasm. Motivated by personal experience and fueled by the hope that things can get better, these innovators—each of them true social entrepreneurs—are improving our world, one brilliant business idea at a time.