In this case, numbers are important because they represent people being given hope and help against the de-habilitating results of mobility issues. Numbers represent people who are back in school, back on the job, back to their religious activities, and back in the mainstream of society.
Every time you see a number, as in this case, where five, ten, or twenty people are assisted, EVERY TIME, that number reflects people who have individual stories of suffering, loss, depression, sadness, hopelessness, and pain. Yet the count of five, ten, or twenty does not tell the full story. No one wants to be just a number. Everyone wants to feel they mean something to the world, they are someone with value, someone will a degree of importance. Twenty is not the story; it is a number that represents twenty stories. Here is we mean.
This is the story of 14-year-old Folia Vincent of Sangallo Village in Southern Malawi. As is the case nationwide the people are identified through their home village. In this case, Folia comes from the area served by Tribal Authority Mchilamwela and is located in the Thyolo District of southern Malawi.
Mrs. Chimwemwe Baluwa, the Assistant Rehabilitation Officer for the physically challenged, reports a total of 19,536 people in this district alone facing mobility issues. Speaking at the distribution ceremony for the 20 people receiving the units, Mrs. Baluwa said, “There is a vast need for mobility devices that will enable people to run their businesses and children to go to school. Without them, children have their educational destinations crumble in front of their very eyes, women find they are helpless to care for their children, willing husbands can do little or no work, and everyone suffers.”
As one looks at the numbers they come to a stop with 14-year-old Folia. In spite of suffering from paralysis in both of her legs, she had reached Standard 7 in school. It was not easy. Trying to help his daughter, her father made a pair of crutches from tree limbs. While the crutches helped some, they also left her bruised, bleeding, and in pain. It was a desperate move on the part of a desperate parent to help with her education.
With her new mobility device, Folia will comfortably attend classes. The doors to her education have sprung back open, and Folia will go to the Mbandanga Primary School in the Thyolo District of Malawi.