“I was amazed. I always thought he was the only one.”
This is 11-years old Joseph* from Mavindini, Kenya. The first ten years of his life, Joseph did not see any daylight. His family kept him hidden in their home because of his disability. “I thought we were the only family with a child like this,” his mother Elisabeth explains.
“Every moment of the day, I felt afraid and stressed out: I did not want our neighbours to see Joseph. It was painful to see him suffer. I even prayed God to take my life.” The staff of Help a Child came in contact with Elisabeth. They encouraged her to take her son to a meeting for people with a disability. “I will never forget that day,” Elisabeth recalls, “Joseph was outside his home for the very first time to meet other people. I was amazed! I always thought he was the only one. But I saw other children and even people of my age with a disability. That changed everything!”
“Even now, some people are afraid to come here. But I love my son and I will not hide him any longer!”
Elisabeth took the brave decision to no longer hide her son. “Even now, some people are afraid to come here, because they think that Joseph is bewitched. But I love my son and I will not hide him any longer!” Whenever possible, she lays Joseph on a mattress outside. “He loves to look at his brothers and sisters when they are playing football. You can see the smile on his face. The word ‘bread’ makes him very happy, because that is his favorite food.”
Finally, Joseph receives the support he needs. Elisabeth: “Joseph sees a physiotherapist now and the staff of Help a Child are helping me to arrange a wheelchair. I became a member of a self-help group, supported by Help a Child. Through this group I am able to save money and receive a loan. I use this to buy medicines for Joseph. Our life has changed for the better and I thank God for it!”