“With rare exceptions, all of your most important achievements on this planet will come from working with others—or, in a word, partnership.”
- Paul Farmer
While flourishing organizations must acknowledge innumerable people for their success, Prosthetic Hope International was realized from the diligent efforts of Robbie Jackson and Rob Kistenberg. In the summer of 1995, Robbie Jackson was serving as the mission director of Life Enhancement Association for People (L.E.A.P.) when she was called to Belize to see if L.E.A.P. could expand clinical services. While in Belize, she was introduced to a young man named Adrian in need of bilateral above knee prostheses as he was born without legs. Robbie, never one to turn down a challenge, contacted Rob Kistenberg through a mutual friend and together they embarked upon the adventure of providing artificial limbs in the developing nation of Belize.
In the fall of 1995, Robbie and Rob brought Adrian from Belize to Dallas to see if he could be fit with prostheses. Ultimately, Rob and a colleague, John Fergason were able to make Adrian a set of legs that allowed him to return to Belize literally a transformed man. However, the follow-up for the adjustments and the maintenance to these prostheses was yet to be determined. In the summer of 1996, Rob accompanied L.E.A.P.'s surgical team to Belize to see how Adrian's legs were holding up and to assess the state of prosthetic services in Belize. As no services existed in the country, the assessment was very quick. Equally quick was Rob and Robbie's decision to try to establish prosthetic services in Belize. One year later, Rob and Robbie returned for two weeks and evaluated, measured, cast, fabricated and delivered the first four modern prostheses ever fabricated in Belize. The output from this relationship became what is now Prosthetic Hope International, Inc.(PHI).
In 2000, they chartered Sonrie Ministries, Inc. in Texas as a 501(c)(3) non-governmental organization (NGO) to support the provision of prosthetic services in Belize. Recognizing the need that a formal entity was essential to do business in Belize, they also chartered a Belizean charity named Prosthetic Hope Belize in 2000. In 2004, they purchased the property and building upon which the only prosthetic and orthotic clinic in the country of Belize operates.
It was in 2010, when Sonrie Ministries relocated to Atlanta, Georgia, that the name was officially changed to Prosthetic Hope International, Inc. and the Belizean charitable organization which operated the flagship clinic since 2004 became PHI-Belize.