All over the world families are facing temporary disruptions because of the coronavirus pandemic. Children are out of school, yet they cannot go to the playground with their friends. They are free from educational responsibilities but cannot visit in the homes of their neighbors. They have all this free time but can’t go to church services, to a movie theater or a Little League game. Nor can they go to a park, a zoo or a museum. This affects the entire family.
In the Salima District of the tiny African nation of Malawi there is a boy who has lived in relative isolation for NINE years. It is not because of a virus or because he lives in a remote isolated village, but because of a mobility issue that took place when he was 2 years old.
Here is the story, as reported by Griven Kasalika, serving with Action for Progress.
Salima District, Malawi … “We met Gerald Mbaisa at the Khombedza Rural Health Center when we were distributing mobility units to physically challenged children. It was obvious he had not been able to walk for years. Now, 13 years of age he has been disabled since he was 2 and suffered from malaria. Gerald cannot move about without someone helping him. He can only crawl,” observes Griven.
“Gerald had been eagerly waiting for our arrival. Sitting under a nearby tree he watched us closely as we put together his mobility unit. When it was completed his grandfather, Josophat Williams, helped him get on the seat and peddle around the grounds. It won’t take long for him to manage it alone,” Griven added.
“Life is changing for Gerald. Now he will be able to get to his school class on time and will be able to get home much quicker so he can do his homework.” Griven continues, “For the first time he will be able to go to church services without help and visit his friends independent of others carrying him.”
“As we turned onto the main road, we noticed an ex-cart that had brought the beneficiary to receive his mobility unit. It had traveled 14 kilometers to reach this place.”