Thursday, 5 March, 2020
Three-year-old Charity holds her head up and begins to smile. Physiotherapy is improving her physical ability and movement, and now she has started speech therapy. Charity’s mother, Linet, smiles back at her child and begins to sing.
It was very different two and a half years ago shortly after Charity first started showing the signs that something was wrong with her body, when Linet felt alone and afraid.
A culture of stigma and discrimination against people with disabilities in parts of Kenya makes life difficult for families caring for disabled children. When Charity fell silent, her body stiff, and movement jerky, her father felt the family should give up their child to an orphanage.
Linet refused to give up on her daughter, but without access to medical professionals, she sought the help of local herbalists. They took her money, but weren’t able to make a difference to Charity.
A year and a half had passed. Most of her money had gone, but there was no improvement in Charity’s condition. Linet was desperate, and it was at this moment that she heard about a new clinic that was supporting families like hers.
Sense International Kenya’s team , and very quickly started a programme of specialist therapy.
“I am appreciative of the support Sense International has provided to my child. She has improved so much and the therapy sessions are so much fun,” says Linet.
Linet is proud of the progress her daughter is making and is finally beginning to look to the future with hope.
In Kenya, children with deafblindness rarely get the support they need. Many will lead short, lonely, lives, hidden away by parents who may not know how to support them, and who are fearful of the reaction of the local community. Without support, these children will face a lifetime of isolation, struggling with mobility and communication, unable to form the most basic connections with those around them.
You can help give children like Charity a Chance To Shine by donating to our appeal now. Donations made between 1 January and 31 March will be matched pound for pound by the UK government, doubling the impact of your support for some of the world’s most disadvantaged children and young people.
First published: Friday 7 June 2013
Last updated: Wednesday 20 September 2017