It was 2008, and in a tiny village outside Lilongwe a baby girl was born. Her entrance into the world was just one year before Malawi elected its first ever Vice-President, who would go on to become President three years later. As is the case in many other parts of the world the possibilities for little girls in Malawi have opened in ways not imagined just a few years earlier. While women had held high government and tribal positions for a much longer time than was popular in the west, it was still unheard of to hold the position of President in a western style government in Africa. For every little girl growing up in modern day Malawi the opportunities were about to become as high as the sky. An education was the key to the future and children clamored to go to school, especially the little girls. This was the world little Gladys was entering.
Then when she was 8 years old, she was diagnosed with leprosy. It affected her nerve endings, then her mobility. This closed the door to opportunities, and Gladys found herself dependent on others for nearly all her movement. It was so serious she could not even get in and out of a bathroom by herself. Her guardian noted, “We always have to make sure that Gladys has a guardian to take care of her. She must be able to help her to the bathroom.”
Her guardian continued, “We came to know of Action for Progress from a close friend who had been helped by this organization in the past. After inquiries, we were able to make a request directly to AfP. They responded by having us come to their warehouse and present our case directly. On the spot we were awarded a mobility unit for Gladys.”
When Gladys was comfortably seated on a new unit everyone was surprised to see her begin moving about as though she has been doing this for some time.
“Words alone are not enough to express our gratitude for this gift. You have helped our daughter, and now she will be able to visit her friends as well as visit the toilets and more importantly it will help her to not to miss classes. Today I have become a witness of good deeds that Action for Progress is doing. Please continue the good work of helping Malawians,” concluded Gladys’s guardian.
Now, for the first time in many years the dreams that had been shattered have been restored.