Sarah Awino, a young lady from Kibera and a mother of 3, conceived and gave birth to her third born baby boy in May 2017 and named him Loid. Like every mother, she had positive expectations for her baby, but something happened which changed her life completely. The baby was post term she experienced prolonged labour. Her little Loid never cried immediately after birth, and had to be put in a special care unit for 7 days.
Loid developed Spastic cerebral palsy (a type of cerebral palsy where muscles feel stiff and jerky, resulting in difficult or even impossible movements). “I was dumb founded” narrates Sarah, “I had never seen such a condition before and I had started giving up on my son. I did not know where to start because I do not have a source of income and I have other 2 children to take care of. My husband is just a casual laborer and he struggles to put a meal on the table for us. Achieving optimum health for Loid, was like a pipe dream.
On my way home one evening, I met Agnes, a volunteer at The Action Foundation (TAF) who recommended I bring Loid to TAF the next day as the occupational therapist would be there to assess him and advise further. I was overjoyed and I remember I could not sleep that night hoping for the best for my Loid. Luckily Loid was enrolled in TAF’s early intervention program. Three months later, my hope has been restored, I can see a better future for my son. I cannot believe that my baby has started learning to sit on his own. He is also able to use both of his hands and can now move from one point to the other. I know he shall be able to walk one day. As Ram Charan would say ‘The sky takes on shades of orange during sunrise and sunset, the color that gives you hope that the sun will set only to rise again’.” TAF serves over 100 children in the largest slum in Africa, giving them opportunities to succeed in ways that would never be available, were it not for the dedication and passion of the TAF team.
The Action Foundation is a grassroots organization in Kenya that supports children and young people with disabilities to thrive. Working with communities, organizations and local and national government, TAF strives to end exclusion, discrimination and violence towards children with disabilities in marginalized areas. TAF promotes early education, strives to include children with disabilities in mainstream schools, and supports the livelihoods of caregivers by training them in small business management skills.