Peace Tips extend life of crutches

Victims of war become messengers of peace.

At The Peace Project, we’ve come to believe that justice starts with equality and that in a country like Sierra Leone (home to 20% of the world’s amputees) equality starts with people having mobility and the ability to live pain free.

While planning The Peace Project’s massive 2011 crutch distribution in Sierra Leone, we identified that getting crutches to those in need is just the first step and that providing the resources to maintain the crutches is a critical follow-on. We were startled to learn that, although dozens of NGOs have distributed tens of thousands of pairs of crutches at great expense, within one month of use, the rubber crutch tips wear out, traction and shock absorption is lost, accidents occur, structural pain sets in, and rapid degradation of the crutches take place. Because the international community is unable to continually resupply crutches and no sustainable solution for crutch tips has yet been developed on the African continent, war victims who have already lost so much are often forced to live in shame, crawling on the ground to move from place to place.

In early 2011, The Peace Project began working with Thomas Fetterman, a leading crutch and crutch tip innovator, to find a solution.

Peace tips combine the design that Thomas Fetterman has perfected over the past 25 years with a unique twist — a peace sign where the rubber meets the road. With each step taken, a peace sign is imprinted into soft ground – transforming victims of war into messengers of peace. Plus, the life expectancy of these crutch tips is over a year!

The Peace Project has been delivering Peace Tips to Sierra Leone since 2012. Thomas Fetterman has been delivering them to other developing countries worldwide.