This is the continuation of the story of Apiyo, a 6 year old who lives with her family in a small village outside of the town of Gulu. She was born with a condition that prevents her from walking. Our volunteers distributed food through coordination with the village leader during the lockdown in 2021 and her family was one selected by the leader. Our generous supporters were able to purchase a wheelchair for her, which changed her life for good.
Here is a link to a video showing the delivery of the wheelchair in July of 2021. A Blog entry provides more background.
After initial evaluation by a surgeon in June of 2021, other professionals indicated surgery was not the correct approach, and provided a course of treatment including muscle training, bone strengthening through medicines, and physical therapy.
Generous people donated to our end-of-2021 fundraising campaign for special projects. We met 60% of the $39,005 goal to fund all projects. The project for Apiyo was top on our list of priorities, so as soon as we knew there would be sufficient funding for her, we set things into motion.
Yesterday afternoon, Apiyo and her mother were greeted by our volunteers, Martin and Gabriel, to begin a three day experience for therapy to enable her to stand on her own and walk, most likely with the assistance of crutches. What a positive life change this will be from a wheelchair, and the prior situation of crawling! Thank you supporters, for the difference you are making in Apiyo's life!
Preparations included coordination with the medical clinic, commissioning the construction of a standing frame, purchasing clothing for Apiyo and her mom suitable for wearing in town, renting a vehicle, and reserving rooms at a motel.
I spent the day trying to imagine all the new experiences for this young girl and her mom.
Riding in a vehicle.
Leaving a small village and traveling to a large town.
Eating in a restaurant (not at all like a Denny's or McDonalds - but of course, you knew that).
Sleeping in a bed in a motel.
I also tried to think of feelings they might be having.
Fear. Happiness. Excitement.
So many new experiences would lead to many feelings.
I'll share some photos, beginning with the construction of the standing frame all the way to Apiyo and her mom in the van.
Thank you to those who support the people of Uganda monthly or who donated to the end-of-the year campaign - you are making a difference in Uganda.
Standing frame being built.
Standing frame in the workshop.
Martin demonstrates how to use frame.
Volunteers Gabriel and Martin with frame.
They are on their way out the gate of our compound.
Apiyo and mom eating in restaurant.
In a car for the first time!