Such beautiful faces, such warm and happy natures, but hidden behind these smiles, their little legs are badly bowed, bent and twisted. Every step is agony!
“Prepare the way of the Lord. Make His paths straight.” – Mark 1:3
Kevine and Edward are twins in remote Uganda. Seven years old, their childhoods are filled with poverty and pain.
“They remained healthy and started walking at ten months,” their mother Justine says. “However, when they were about one-and-a-half-years old, their legs started bowing. By the time they were three-years old, their legs were very painful.”
Their knees have collapsed outwards, making their legs extremely bent. Their knees splay out so far, the twins look much shorter than other children.
Their feet twist inwards so much that the tips of their toes scrape past each other with every step. Try doing that. It is very uncomfortable. For the twins, it can be extremely painful. Level ground is hard enough, but even the gentle slope at the water bore causes unbearable pain.
Kevine’s legs pull her to one side, making it terribly difficult for this little girl to walk a straight line. Every day brings pain, but some days are truly terrible. Their mother’s eyes fill with tears, describing pain so bad, the children can barely function.
“On such days they cannot bathe or dress themselves. I have to carry them to school.” Their mother was never able to go to school. That is her lifelong regret. Education is their only hope to step out of poverty, so she carries her children to class.
Hope has been scarce for the twins. Their disability brings heartbreak far beyond the physical pain. It has a profound effect on a child’s heart to be constantly stared at and made to feel different. Even at church.
“They loved going to church, but they stopped because people gathered around them and stared, asking them questions they cannot answer, about their disability.”
Kevine and Edward know the deep sorrow of being abandoned by their father – the man who should have protected and provided for them. With the extra care they need and the public embarrassment of such a visible disability, he walked away to start another family. It broke the twins’ hearts.
Their classmates call them names. Teasing hurts, but being totally excluded can be even worse.
What hurts the most is people telling the twins they are cursed. Nobody, let alone a child, should ever hear words like that. God loves Kevine and Edward as much as He loves you and me.
Disability makes poverty so much worse. In rural Uganda, most children have to spend several hours a day on chores, freeing their parents to work in their gardens, coaxing sustenance from the sun-baked ground.
Kevine and Edward cannot do those chores. They really want to help their mother, but they can barely carry an empty jerrycan, let alone fetch heavy loads of water from the bore.
Nor can they help their mother grow vegetables to eat or sell. “They always want to come with me to the garden, but walking long distances causes them immeasurable pain. I cannot leave them home alone over the weekend to go and do some work.”
You can see how disability affects livelihoods and increases the poverty of this little family. Their mother has taken on work from the very bottom of the economic pile. From 5am every morning and late at night, she smoulders wood to make charcoal. Her life is literally in ashes.
She does it so her children can keep going to school. “I struggle to look for their school fees. I don’t want them to end up like me. I am suffering because I did not go to school.”
She is desperately worried. “As they grow older, they will not be able to walk because of pain and I don’t have money for their treatment. I am their mother and father. I am all they have.”
She feels so alone, but what God is doing for her children through people like you is already remarkable.
Thirteen years ago, generous cbm supporters like you started funding a children’s disability hospital in Uganda. It is called CoRSU and finally, the twins’ mother heard of a CoRSU outreach coming to her region.
“There I met the CoRSU Community Based Rehabilitation workers who assessed Kevine and Edward… and referred them to CoRSU Hospital,” says Justine.
Hope is on its way for these precious young ones. Today, please make a donation for children like Kevine and Edward.
Children like Kevine and Edward are being called cursed. You can make sure they are truly blessed. Bowed legs bring children like Kevine and Edward so much pain, ridicule, rejection and poverty. Kind and generous donations for outreach clinics to find these children, and all the hospital treatment and physiotherapy they need is making a difference. You will make their paths straight, towards a far better future.