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.