KUMI COMMUNITY FOUNDATION FEBRUARY 2020 DIARYFriday 7 February 2020The first day of the wheelchair distribution for Wheels for the World had arrived and we were ready! Kumi Hospital Orthopaedic Workshop would be as busy as it had ever been and, on my arrival, I found the staff ensuring that the place would be ready for action. Some eager mothers and adults had arrived on Wednesday to be first in the queue so as not to miss this opportunity. Translators were needed and there was no shortage of volunteers who would wear red caps to identify their role. The team arrived and the hustle and bustle followed with everyone purposeful in his role. The Hospital Manager and Human Resources Manager joined us for an introduction and prayer and then it was all go. Wheelchairs were graded according to size, mattresses were laid out along the veranda, the technicians (techies) had laid out their tools and, in no time, those in need were being measured, chairs brought out and fitted. It would have been so good to have had an opportunity to have stood back and taken in the scene but, no, that could not be. Many had travelled miles for this opportunity and they soon filled the reception area, cerebral palsy children lay on the ground never having been able to sit and I shall always remember the pleading eyes of some who did not want to be forgotten. The old leprosy sufferers with their disfigurements and missing limbs were hopeful and the only ones who were turned away were those for whom a wheelchair was inappropriate but all went with a bible in their language. Three were given tricycles after assessing their needs and proved that they had the ability to manoeuvre as considerable strength is needed in the hands and arms. One man with disabilities following leprosy and eager for a tricycle was convinced he could manage and so we gave him an opportunity to find out for himself that he could not. He went away with a wheelchair knowing now that this was more suitable for him. They came and went, wheelchairs and tricycles were strapped on to the back of boda bodas (motor bike taxi) with recipient and attendant squeezed behind the driver. The day progressed and the stock reduced until everyone had been seen. The elderly were carried in but wheeled out with a new look on life. I can imagine many being wheeled into church on Sunday so grateful of their new image. Mothers struggling to carry their children of all ages would now find their roles of caring for a child with a disability to be eased and the recipients themselves, well, you only had to see the smiles of joy on those faces to realise what wonderful work the Wheels for the World do. May God bless them! Others came but not for a chair. Sharon Aguti, the 17 year old with the facial disfigurement and soft tissue tumour came for a follow-up x-ray and would we be able to send her for an MRI? One young boy, an amputee following a road traffic accident, had a prosthesis but the foot was completely broken. He would have a new limb made. Then, Ruth told me there are fifteen amputees waiting for new limbs. Could she bring them? I shall need a huge fund-raising drive before I can say yes! We left confident of a good day’s work done and, speaking for myself, I was tired. Half an hour on my bed renewed my energy levels and allowed me to complete the day’s plan. Joppa head teacher and I had to discuss fees for Aboote and Moses while we sat on the porch enjoying a beer each. The evening chorus of insects reminded me that I was here in Africa. Can I really take on more commitments or do I say no? We agreed we should give the children a chance and so let it be. So much to write, so many pictures and this is just a very brief resume of the day. Maybe, when I retire, I’ll have time to complete my story!
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