Commonwealth Point of Light 193. Marta Uetela
Marta Vânia Uetela, representing Mozambique, aged 25, is the founder of BioMec, an organisation that produces high performance prostheses made of recycled plastic from the ocean.
After seeing the difficulties a friend faced in acquiring a prosthesis, Marta developed an artificial leg using the plastic residuals from six bottles collected from the sea. Realising she could produce further high-performing protheses which could not only help lift people’s lives by increasing access to affordable artificial limbs, but also promote sustainability and reduce plastic pollution by repurposing material, Marta launched her own start-up. ‘BioMec’ is now manufacturing further prostheses custom-made for individuals based on their ability needs, using a technology which increases compatibility between the residual limb and the prosthesis to create comfort.
NneNne Iwuji-Eme, UK High Commissioner in Mozambique, said:
“It is truly a pleasure to present this Commonwealth Points of Light award to Marta Uetela on behalf of Her Majesty The Queen. Her inspiring work with the development of affordable prostheses helps improve and transform people’s quality of life, opening doors for dreams to come true. The impact of Marta’s work goes further still as she combines design with sustainability by using plastic collected from the ocean as raw material for her prostheses. I am amazed by her work and very happy that Marta is the fourth Mozambican to receive the Points of Light Award. Congratulations, Marta. You are a true inspiration!”
“It is with great enthusiasm that I receive the Commonwealth Points of Light award, thank you for sharing enthusiasm for the initiative and give motivation. I hope we can make people with mobility challenges have a life without limitations, full of possibilities and self-esteem.”