By Hannah Hillebrand
Faith is a sensitive child. She gets upset when people quarrel. She loves to make people laugh and her smile is inarguably contagious. She loves music of any kind.
Glory is twenty-three and Faith is her first child. When Faith was diagnosed with cerebral palsy, Glory found it hard to accept. She was afraid for what kind of life Faith would have. But now, with support from Ripple Africa’s disabilities project, she is feeling hopeful.
At the Kande disability group, she is supported by Matilda and other parents of children with similar disabilities. It’s a welcoming and supportive place.
Since meeting Matilda, Faith has made huge gains. She is crawling, she is able to sit down and stand up, and with time, Matilda believes she will learn to walk. She practices daily in her standing frame – provided by Ripple Africa – and her mother and grandmother are diligent about helping her do the exercises Matilda prescribes.
Glory’s husband is in South Africa working. She misses him, she tells me, but he is making good money there. She is supported by her own mother, Beatrice, who spends time with Faith while Glory works as a local shop keeper.
Faith attends preschool a few days a week. Glory tells me she loves it and has made many friends there.
Resources for children with disabilities are extremely limited here, but time and again I watch these families thrive by doing so much with very little. Faith is loved unconditionally. She is surrounded by a community that cares for her, and it is beautiful to see.