Communicating Rural Development
ENRD Main Stories Archives
Project of the Month: Disability Bus in Germany
An innovative rural development project in the small town of Kipsdorf, Eastern Germany is transforming the lives of those local residents with mobility issues.
Mr. Frank Komar, a driver with Sr. Monika’s nursing home in Kipsdorf, has been transporting residents to an occupational therapy clinic in a neighbouring town for over ten years. However, passengers with wheelchairs were uncomfortable with having to be carried on and off the bus. Now thanks to co-funding from the European Agricultural Fund for Rural Development (EAFRD), Mr. Komar has installed a special lift in the bus, which allows for easy wheelchair access. Local resident Karin Kriegler says the bus has made a huge difference to her life and that of her husband Klaus, who suffered a stroke some years ago. ‘The nice thing is that you can make a real journey and my husband is cared for,’ she says. In total, the EAFRD contributed €23,800 towards the cost of installing the lift, accounting for 50% of the overall cost. And Mr. Komar feels this project could easily be replicated in other countries. ‘People are getting older, and this project fills a niche here in Kipsdorf. But this clientele can be found all across Europe”, he says.
To watch a ‘video postcard’ on this project, please click here.