Reach Out to Them Too

Mobility units in Malawi

Masinde Village, Blantyre, Malawi … The team arrived at the Chigalu School early in the morning. The vehicle was packed with mobility units destined for the physically challenged. The community came together to witness the event. It was not like it is in other parts of the world, where a person receiving a means with which to get around is common. In Malawi, it is a major event. For most it is imaginable. Among those who came that day was 30-year-old Ellen Eid. When the Action for Progress (AfP) team interviewed her, she told them her condition followed all the way back to her childhood. In fact, she could not recall the details because she was so young when it happened. Her mother told her she had contracted polio when she was two. Now her condition is the same as it was then, and through all of those years, Ellen had never possessed any type of mobility device with which to get around. Thanks to her husband she has been able to survive. However, this did not satisfy her deep-seated need to get about and do things herself.

After talking for a time, the AfP team presented Ellen with a brand-new mobility unit. She thanked them but almost immediately turned everyone’s attention to others. She said, “We hope we are not the last ones, as there are many in the rural areas who cannot afford to buy these expensive mobility units. We pray you will reach out to them.”

Ellen continued, “This son (meaning the mobility unit will truly help me do things that I was failing to do. As a wife, I will now be able to go to the market and take care of my family. With mobility, I can do business that will support my husband and provide some of the household expenses. In short, you have brought joy to my entire family,” she concluded.

How can one not be touched when an example of selflessness is demonstrated as clean and precise as it was in this example of caring what happens to others when you yourself are in dire straits?

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