Life-giving leisure time
The birth of Vivian to Jane in Ngeria a remote village in one of ENCOs project area in Kenya was a reason for celebration. The innocence of Vivian as she laid in the arms of her mother gave Jane the feeling of Joy and positively distracted her from the sense of guilt and rebuke from community for having a child outside marriage. It was clear to her that the responsibility would be challenging in her circumstances but the resolve and determination to offer the best to her child stood firmly on the pillar of hope.
The beauty of bringing up the child lasted for four months when Jane started experiencing traits that appeared rather unusual. Children of the same age appeared to have interest on what happened around them and attained control of body movements. Jane consulted some of her friends who gave her many and often contradicting reasons for this experience. She took comfort with those who explained that children develop differently and it was no cause for alarm. Jane’s movements in search for an answer to what was developing from bad to worse bore no fruit but landed her exhausted in the small room she lived in. The future seemed dark and fate had brought its darkest face upon her. “Could my child be disabled”? Vivian was born with cerebral palsy a disability that arose from birth Asphyxia.
In the midst of confusion, doubt and anger, Jane felt quite disturbed when yet another visitor who appeared strange approached her compound. She had had enough of explanations given by friends who frequently visited her and the efforts made to a local dispensary bore no fruit in addressing her source of distress. However this stranger’s visit came to be the turning point later in life. Millicent, a physiotherapist a volunteer with ENCO was connected with Jane.
The first encounter was difficult as she was met with resistance by parents who lived in denial about disability with their loved ones. The stigma and cultural beliefs placed unbearable psychological burden to those identified with disabilities. Jane was however determined to overcome any hurdles to get help for her daughter. Millicent held several sessions with Jane and eventually started physiotherapy for her daughter.
Millicent and Jane bond was glued by Vivian. Jane followed every instruction given after every physiotherapy session and in the third month she noted what she described as the first signs of what she later called a miracle. Slowly but surely something was happening to her child, it was evident that Vivian was regaining the ability to hold her head in place, and with time had even started turning it taking attention of what was happening around him.
Though a long journey of patience, discipline and hope, it came to be a different story 5 years down the line. Vivian improved step by step to attaining all the delayed milestones and a normal muscle tone.
Millicent has for eight years found the secret of a happy life, the joy of giving back to the community in her leisure time. You can too join our network of skilled and skilled volunteers and we will connect you with people who need your help most. It is priceless and the outcome invaluable. You too have a chance to make a difference!