Today we headed off on an adventure to West Pokot. Pascal and Frank came along for the ride. I love seeing their reactions to meeting kids in need. They remember where they came from a just a few months ago and are excited to meet other kids who need help. Pascal jumps in and isn’t afraid to hold the kids or start playing with them. Frank stands back and quietly observes what is going on and then when we get back in the car demands to know how we are going to help the kids we just saw. I love seeing them have such compassionate hearts despite their backgrounds that are full of pain.
Children with disabilities living in Pokot have it rough. It’s in such a rural place many things are hard to come by. The nearest doctor is about a two hour drive from where they stay and many rely on ineffective home remedies because it is the only medication that they have access to.
First we met Isaac. A sweet little three year old boy with cerebral palsy.
I was surprised to see that he is so well taken care of. His little sister’s job is to watch him while the mom goes to look for work and makes the hour and a half trek on foot to the market to buy supplies for her family.
Isaac is a happy little guy that can almost sit on his own and with proper therapy might be able to walk. The problem is the distance from proper medical care.
Next we went to see two brothers that live just down the road. Musa is three years old. He can talk, but cannot walk on his own. By his leg positioning and gait, we guessed that he probably has polio. Another problem with the area is that vaccinations that are provided free by the government are hard to come by.
Musa’s older brother, Puece is about twelve years old. We had him stand near Frank who is 13 years old and Pascal who is 10 years old and based on the comparison guessed his age because his mother didn’t know. His mother said that he was born normally and started sitting, walking, and crawling on time, but when he was one year old he got sick and never fully recovered. Since his brother had polio, it is my guess that he also had polio. Now he has some walking difficulties and problems with movement on his left side. He understands everything said to him, but struggles to speak.
Our last stop was to meet Christine. She is deaf and possibly has additional mental delays because she is completely unable to communicate. Her mother left her to stay with her aunt, who is struggling to get by herself.
It was great to get a chance to meet these precious little ones. It’s difficult to know what the next step is. It is difficult to give them supports at home because of the distance from any medical facility that could give them the therapy they need. Schooling is also an issue because many of them live far from school and are unable to walk there. Please keep these little ones and their families in your prayers this week.