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Generation Global Giving amputees hope through recycled bottles

Recycling plastic to make new bottles is one thing, but using the material to create prosthetic limbs? That's another. Two Swiss designers are using their skills to improve other people's lives.

In the lead up to October's parliamentary electionsexternal link, this is the fourth in a video series dedicated to looking at how political decisions affect the everyday lives of Swiss people. 

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Fabian Engel and Simon Oschwald travelled to Kenya, where they heard about the indignities people with prosthetic limbs faced in everyday life. Due to the high number of traffic accidents, amputations aren't rare.

The cost of an artificial limb is prohibitively high for many people, and the restricted mobility that living with one leg brings, makes finding work difficult.

The two designers set themselves the challenge of coming up with a prosthesis that would be available at a fraction of the normal cost - using local labour and recycled materials. A visit to a vast rubbish dump in Nairobi cemented the idea of making use of materials that had been discarded.

But the intricacies of the design weren't so easy to perfect, and the team almost gave up on the project. Now they credit collaboration with the people who will use their product, as the key to its success.   

The Generation Global series so far

Generation global Disabled in Switzerland: sometimes tough, sometimes comic

Access to jobs, education, even a good night out can be hard for the disabled in Switzerland. Stand-up comic Eddie, who has cerebral palsy, explains.


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