StandProud USA is a U.S.-registered, tax-exempt, not-for-profit charity created to provide international financial support for selected community organizations in developing countries which:
- provide corrective treatment, locally-crafted leg braces, and accompanying rehabilitative services, at no cost to poor families with children who have been disabled by polio or who have similar disabilities, and
- promote the full integration of disabled persons into society.
- all physically disabled persons should have access to the orthopedic equipment they require in order to achieve maximum possible dignity, mobility and independence, and
- a healthy society is one which permits and encourages the full integration of the physically disabled into all of its normal social and economic activities.
StandProud USA Key Members:Jay Nash: Chair
Liz Chant: Vice-Chair & Treasurer
Jillian Robbins: Admin & Liaison Officer
Joseph Kay: DR Congo Project Manager
Advisory Committee – StandProud
Tony Gambino: Former Director for DR Congo, United States Agency for International Development
Judith Heumann: Director of the Department on Disability Services, District of Columbia
Dr. Lauro Halstead: Director, Post Polio Program, National Rehabilitation Hospital
Faida Mitifu: Ambassador of the Democratic Republic of Congo to the United States
Ellyn Ogden: USAID, Worldwide Polio Eradication Coordinator
Board of DirectorsJudith Affatato
Dr. Alberta Finch
StandProud USA's chairman, Jay A. Nash, is a graduate of Amherst College and of the University of Illinois´ doctoral program in Linguistics. Mr. Nash first began assisting disabled persons in the third world when serving as a Peace Corps volunteer in the Congo–an activity which he later continued when working for Catholic Relief Services in Angola and the Dominican Republic. After returning to the Congo in 1998 to work for the United States Agency for International Development, he assisted a group of disabled Congolese friends to organize to establish a brace shop where poor disabled youths could obtain free orthopedic equipment, then helped found StandProud in the United States to serve as a funding source for that organization and others like it in other developing countries. It is Mr. Nash's belief that with only moderate resources from the developed world, it should be possible to assist most previous polio victims to obtain simple orthopedic aids which greatly enhance their mobility and dignity, and that this is an important complement to current efforts to eradicate the disease entirely.