Anna and I (Jaimie) have been busy trying to keep up with Abu's pace! I am so happy that he is so dedicated and enthusiastic about his work! Not often the mentality of Sierra Leoneans (though that might be over generalizing too much), Ambrose is our steady guy, sharing in enthusiasm and so great with the kids and families. Mr. Morlai is of course my new favourite driver, he knows how to get anywhere and safely! =)
My first month has been exciting, very tiring, and filled with a lot of joy and few heartaches. I want to share about a lady and her little grand-niece.
Mariama is a little one year old girl whose mother recently died and the father left once finding out that Mariama had disabilities. After the mother's and the grandmother's death no one wanted to take Mariama, people believed she was cursed, that she had caused the deaths, yet the grandmother's sister, Adama did not believe so.
Adama brought her grand-niece to AWC Children's Clinic on a Friday after hearing about Enable the Children. We assessed Mariama finding that she likely has quadriplegic Cerebral Palsy affecting all her limbs. We explained to the granny the condition and what exercises to do with Mariama to help strengthen her very weak and floppy muscles. The Granny explained to us the community had told her to leave Mariama to die, but Adama told us of her faith in God and how Mariama was a precious little girl.
We were all so encouraged by the Granny's faith and her liveliness, taking on a one year old in her advanced age is one thing but to care for a one year old with Cerebral Palsy in Sierra Leone takes nothing short of Saint.
On our first visit to her home to check on the exercises we had the opportunity to talk with some of the neighbours and help to educate them on Cerebral Palsy and encourage them. The granny is enthusiastic and we have already seen small improvements in these few weeks as she begins to have better head and trunk control.
Enable the Children has discussed with Adama on helping
her start up her small business again, a small business shop is available near Adama's daughter where they could share in the responsibility of watching Mariama during the day and the granny will again be able to support herself and her sweet little grand-niece.
I have no doubt that faith in a big God and a Grandmother's enthusiasm will move mountains! I am so excited to see what God will do over the next 2 years (the time I am here for) for Adama and Mariama. So glad we get to be invited into families lives here and see the fruit that God is producing!
Friday, 1 February 2013
A little update from sunny Sierra Leone....
Next post is the beginnings of a lovely story about Mariama and Adama, typical of many of the families we work with in Sierra Leone. Enjoy reading it.
It was written by Jaimie Reetz, an American nurse and our new Programme Support Volunteer who started in January this year. She and Anna Vines, our new British physio who also started in January, have both been getting stuck in with the SL team - Abu, Ambrose and Mr Morlai. It's great to have the team grow as it seems we have so many children and families 'on our books' at the moment, over 270!! It will be important for the team to prioritise and maybe put some of the old patients 'on review' to allow the help we can offer to reach new children that we are coming across weekly.
In the mean time, thank you for all the kind words about the news of our baby Isaac. He is growing strong and radiates joy when he smiles, all children are truely gift from God!
Thank you for you continued support of us and the work we strive to do to keep loving and helping the disabled children in Sierra Leone.
Sunday, 20 January 2013
Dear ~Enable the Children~ supporters,
Happy New Year from us all! We hope you are well and have started 2013 in good health and happiness. Just a quick little update……
News from the Boord Family
For those of you who have not heard yet, Rob and I welcomed Isaac Astley Henry Boord into the world on 14th December, only 12 days late – as Rob has said he has my African sense of timing!! He weighed 8lbs 9oz then and has gained even more since as he’s a hungry little chap! Despite a 36 hour labour I’m doing well and am so happy to be a Mummy! We are loving settling down as a little family and are so thankful for this special gift from God.
News from Sierra Leone
Abu and Ambrose have kept the fort going in Freetown seeing many families and encouraging the disabled children’s development. They are pleased to be joined by two new volunteers – Anna, a British Physiotherapist and Jaimie, an American Children’s Nurse who will also be working for us in a Programme Support kind of way with our admin. They have both already arrived and we look forward to hearing more from them as they settle in.
There is an Executive Board meeting to be held this coming Saturday 26th January – these are always interesting meetings and there’s sure to be news of progress and plans coming soon.
Kind regards and thanks to you all, we’ll be in touch again soon with more up-to-date news from Sierra Leone.
Love Vez, Rob and baby Isaac
And the Sierra Leone ~Enable the Children~ team
Sunday, 1 July 2012
Here in the UK I think Summer might be with us or at least on it's way I hope! While in Sierra Leone the rainy season is certainly with them. Despite being English, I had never seen rain like it does in SL... heavy, torrential, very wet and for days on end, and all that with no proper drainage for sewage or roads, steep mountainsides and communities on the edge of the sea where all the water wants to head. You can imagine the chaos! Sadly houses are swept away, lives are lost, sickness is hightened and life is not all that enjoyable.
Please remember our vulnerable disabled children during this dangerous season.
You can read below a final update from Sarah Withers, our Occupation Therapist who has just returned to UK. She has faithfully poured out her life to serve with ~Enable the Children~ for which we are very grateful. She has supported Abu and Ambrose and kept the project going through many hard times. Sarah has been an amazing blessing, and we long for her to settle back into UK life and work well.
Also below is the story of Baby Hannah, who is actually 4 years old, not a baby, though because of her developmental delay had never even learnt to sit up for herself until we got involved This is a child Abu and Sarah have been involved with and have been encouraged by her progress, character and determination, despite the death of her mother. These children really do have to cope with so much, we cannot just walk away, but instead we show our love and encouragement. Read more of what your support helps us to achieve.
Finally all that is left to say is that WE NEED MORE THERAPISTS - physiotherapists, occupational therapists, play therapists or anyone else who has experience with disabled children. Abu and Ambrose are overun with work and still we are getting new referrals every week. We'd love to train up another Sierra Leonean worker, but cannot do this without trained professionals. Therapy is not taught in SL so there is no workforce already trained that we could work with. PLEASE help up to enable more Sierra Leoneans to 'enable more children'. If you know of anyone who might want to work with us, please give them our website info, or put them directly in touch with me.
We are so grateful for our partnership with you.
Have a great summer, and we'll be in touch with more news soon.
The ~Enable the Children~ Team
Vez and Rob
Abu, Ambrose, Mr Molai and Sarah
The SL Exec Board
Saturday, 30 June 2012
“Whilst working at SOS Home for the Physically Disabled in May 2012, I met a very sickly woman bringing her 4 year old for assessment at the home. The child, named Baby Hannah, was unable to sit independently or walk. Because of the severity of her disability she was not eligible for a place at SOS.
Her mother was very discouraged. ~Enable the Children~ workers visited Baby Hannah's home to assess her disability and make a therapy treatment plan. Baby Hannah had profound difficulties with her co-ordination and balance. ~Enable the Children~ were able to assess Baby Hannah and teach her mum how to do daily exercises.
On a follow-up visit 2 weeks later her aunty informed us that Baby Hannah's mum died and the child was now in her care. As ~Enable the Children~ continued to work with Baby Hannah we have seen improvement in her sitting balance and trunk extension. We have provided her with a special supportive chair with table for sitting, eating and playing in. We also recently provided her a special commode for toileting. When we first visited
Baby Hannah, it wasn't unusual for her to be sat in her own urine as her new family did not always help her to the toilet in time. The provision of a commode means she is no longer dependent on waiting for her family to assist her with toileting and there are less incidences of incontinence.
In spite the fact that she lost her mum she continued to improve and is now independently sitting, eating and pulling up to sit on chair from the floor by herself, standing with support and stepping along a bar. Praise be to God for her life and her improvement.”
Written by Abu