This blog is written by RIPPLE Africa volunteer, Nikki Luxford
The story of John continues. I said we might have had a ‘light bulb’ moment and to continue to read the blogs – well, this is the happy ending to John’s story.
For those who haven’t read the other blog about John, in brief he is a carpenter for RIPPLE Africa, had a stroke and lost the use of the left side of his body. From physiotherapy with Claudia, one of the volunteers, he has made remarkable progress. He can now walk unaided, can ride a bicycle and our ‘light bulb’ moment has seen him pick up his tools again as he got back into being a carpenter.
Now what John has achieved is special for a number of reasons. Firstly it demonstrates that he is progressing well and has regained enough usage in his left hand that he can get back to being a carpenter, but it’s also special because the item he was making was a wooden walker for Zione, a little three-year-old girl with cerebral palsy.
Zione lives in Kande and before John had the stroke, he’d have had no reason to meet her, but set to work on making her a walker along with Matmati, another carpenter; he created her the walker within two days as per Claudia’s design. Once completed, John came with Dan, Claudia and myself to deliver the walker and for him to see how he was helping someone else with a disability in the community.
John still has a long way to go until he is fully recovered from the stroke, and has many challenges ahead of him but this is yet another positive step in the right direction. Zione too has her challenges ahead of her, learning to use the walking aid which will give her a brighter future in her village, enabling her to be more mobile.
The generous support of people back home has also made this happen as money donated by MOFTAG in Calpe has been used to buy the materials for John to make the walker for Zione.
Teamwork at its best! There really is no “I” in team.