A Father’s Devotion
We visited children with disabilities to learn of the challenges families face in their own community and provide what support we could. We started with a seventeen-year-old boy named Yusuf and his father Mr. Shaban. We learned Yusuf has never had the opportunity to get an education and struggles to find a suitable place to learn and grow. We helped Yusuf with a one-year supply of medication to help ease some financial burden for the family.
We also learned of the family’s isolation and hopelessness they feel with the lack of medical, psychological and financial support. We were inspired by their stories and it pushed us to focus on providing support to not only the child but also the whole family. Mr. Shaban of Dar Es Salaam was among those who attended our free Parent’s Seminar where he gained valuable information on planning for and psychologically supporting his family. He also was able to network with parents in similar situations, share some resources and the ongoing emotional support through an active chat support group.
Since we met Mr. Shaban, we have always been inspired to visit him. Yusuf’s and Shaban’s smile always gives us Joy. If we have to speak about Mr shaban, his commitment to his family and caring for Shaban is remarkable. In a society where we find a lot of men abandoned their families just because a child was born with disability, Mr shaban become the role model that you want everyone to know about. We wish Mr. Shaban could be an ambassador and advocate to all men in Tanzania who are failing to take responsibility for their children with special needs.
This Mother Isn’t Alone
Daniel who was born with Cerebral Palsy and Autism. Danny’s mom was abandoned by her partner and had to raise Danny alone. She could not work because she could not afford to put Danny in day care or school (if she could even find one that would take him), which compounded the challenges. She tried to sell cloths on the street while caring Danny on her back and his sister on her front. This work was physically and emotionally difficult and barley fed the family. Ultimately, they only survived by the small amount of help from their neighbors.
When we met Danny he needed special shoes for walking and was sharing a very old mattress with five other people. We purchased new shoes for Danny and a new mattress for the family. We learned that Danny’s family would be traveling to Kenya for a relative’s funeral and through partners in Kenya we secured specialized physiotherapy services at St. Gertrude Children Hospital.
Unfortunately, he fell sick and was admitted at the hospital. The mother could not afford to pay the bill so CHF covered this amount. Danny condition improved and he returned to Tanzania with his mother. Unfortunately, Danny fell ill again and he passed on. Our work is in honor of Danny and families like his, so no families have to struggle alone.