Thinking Outside the (Cardboard) Box

An absolutely fascinating, innovative approach, to create something from nothing...

Established in 2010 in central Kenya, there is an innovative workshop that has been making chairs and standing frames and other pieces of adaptive positioning equipment - made simply from recycled cardboard boxes. This means they are ultra low-cost and affordable to all.

Currently over 2,000 items have now been custom designed and fabricated on site, at the Metropolitan Sanctuary for Children with Disability. It is a charitable Christian rehabilitation centre, in the heart of central Kenya.

The equipment is individually designed by the occupational therapy team at the Sanctuary, to meet the individual needs of each recipient. They are designed to keep the child in a good position and alignment, either in lying, sitting or standing.

Adaptive seating provides a stable base of support to enhance function, reduce fatigue and offer some much needed comfort to each beneficiary. It helps to position the person well, which in turn, prevents development of contractures and deformity. It enhances feeding, swallowing, digestion, and having a stable base of supports promotes use of hands and supports trunk and head function. Good positioning also enhances cardiovascular and respiratory function and manages pressure distribution well.

Most importantly, keeping a person upright and at eye level with others enhances the social interaction and engagement in community life.

Standing frames are used to enhance strength of the trunk and lower limbs, offer opportunity for being upright and facilitate bone density.

''Creativity is intelligence having fun'' - Albert Einstein

If you would like to hear more contact Jolene Allen, Occupational Therapist at the Metropolitan Sanctuary for Children with Disability, Nyeri Kenya. Email:

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