For those of you who have been following Victoria’s story, here is an update – If you haven’t then here is a chance to catch up before I tell you the good news!
Victoria is a two year old girl who had meningitis as a baby, because of this she has acquired brain damage and is now severely disabled. She has been wrongly diagnosed and medicated in the past and has been in and out of various hospitals more times than you could possibly count!
For parents all over the world, having a child with a disability is challenging. Hospital visits, medication, and simple tasks can be a daily struggle but to be living in a society where people with disabilities struggle to be accepted, it is demoralizing and so evident here. A disabled lady who lives in Mombasa told me she has made the conclusion that disability and poverty run parallel with each other; it is heart breaking to hear…
But I cannot describe in words to you how blessed Victoria is with such an amazing Mother. The bond between mother and child is always so naturally strong but the connection between Victoria and her Mother is nothing like I’ve seen before. Victoria’s mum is questioned daily by neighbours – “why do you bother?” some say, she told me she just laughs because they will never understand. She has tackled barriers society has put on Victoria and has so much energy and strength emotionally and physically – she is an inspiration to me and also many other parents in the area.
In my time here I have spent much time with Victoria and her mum and have really become attached with their story. In the last 4 months I have seen Education for Life supporting Victoria financially as well as providing opportunities for her to see doctors and physiotherapists that have visited from England. She has received help that otherwise she would never get.
The other evening I visited Victoria’s home and was so shocked at what I saw. It was something that any disabled child and parent in England would take for granted, but here it is something so amazing, that will change Victoria and her mum’s life, can you guess what it is?…
What I saw was a wheelchair! So why was I so surprised to see it? Most wheelchairs here are expensive, they aren’t adapted to the individual and are hard to find. But this chair was the correct size, brand new and had more or less fallen right into the hands of Victoria’s mum. How? The Association for the Physically Disabled of Kenya (better known here as APDK). They are an organisation that specialise in rehabilitation, employment, day care, medical advice, parental support and the making of aids for people with disabilities. They amazingly have given Victoria a wheelchair!
We just wanted to say a HUGE thank you to APDK for this gift that has changed Victoria and her mum’s life. APDK are tackling the whole perception of ‘disability is poverty’ and it is amazing to see the impact of their work. APDK are not only helping individuals like Victoria but are making an influence and changing perspectives here in Kenya – your work is so much appreciated, so once again, thank you.
Written by Molly Fyfe