Pollin Elias was on born on 17th February, 2011 at the Queen Elizabeth Central Hospital in Blantyre, Malawi. She was born with no complications, and her parents were happy they to now have a girl child after delivering three sons.
After just two weeks Pollin became very sick and fainted. Her parents rushed her to the hospital where she remained unconscious for two full weeks. When she woke up she was unable to move, and since that time her mother Rabecca has been doing physical therapy with her.
Pollin was unable to go to the Early Childhood Development Centre, a preschool where children under 6 receive early education. “l kept her in the house because l did not know what to do next.” Rabecca recalls.
In 2017 Rabecca attended a Mary’s Meals meeting at Andrew Noreen Davis centre. (Mary’s Meals is a charitable group feeding children 15 different countries.) The meeting was aimed at creating community awareness on the importance of sending children to the center regardless of their disabilities.
“l listened attentively to the presentation. After the meeting l met Mary’s Meals staff, who asked if my child could be enrolled at the center. l was advised to enroll her on the same day, and I was also asked if l would become a volunteer so that l could monitor my daughter. l accepted,” Rabecca explained with a big smile.
Pollin started attending the centre on 8th May 2017, with her mother each morning carrying her to the center on her back. Pollin soon was interacting with friends, and has since been able to pronounce some sounds.
On 29th January, Pollin received the new mobility unit, thanks to the Malawi Project and Mobility Ministry. It will greatly ease Rabecca’s workload. She was surprised when the school’s teaching staff presented the mobility unit.
No Longer on my Back
“When Mary’s Meals staff asked me to go and get Pollin from the class I did not question. Then, to my surprise, l saw the mobility unit, and I was so surprised. I could not believe what l saw, the new chair for Pollin. I will no longer need to carry her on my back.”
As Rabecca related receiving the unit she did it with tears of joy flowing from her eyes.
Reported by Mary Meals Staff – Edited by Wilson Tembo & Richard Stephens