We explored ways to improve seating and especially shoulder and neck control. Peter was unable to stabilise his shoulders so struggled to reach his mouth with accuracy. We tried some ideas out with his Mum to help. He was very keen to walk and he achieved this by hooking his elbows over the parallel bars. We found a braced wheeled walking frame, received from MMN, for him to try out. He was able to use a low tech skate board for useful mobility and the frame for therapeutic walks.
Melinda, being both deaf and blind will need specialist education once she has settled down. In the meantime she loves trying to draw letter shapes with a pencil. We discussed using a tray of sand or millet with her finger and possibly learning the ‘QWERTY’ key board lay out so she could write usefully. She will need hearing aids as her Mum has to shout.
Friday at the school is a non-pupil day and all the new local volunteers came for some basic training. We decided to concentrate on normal movement, the skeleton, muscles, tendons and the cause of Cerebral Palsy. It was good to see the experienced volunteers enabling the new ones to understand. There were twenty-five or so in this group and at the end we were asked to give encouraging words, so shared Nehemiah 8v10 on how The Joy of the Lord is our strength. We are building as teams, and must work as one. We shared the story of how WWN started, how the Lord guided, how Joyce was able to continue the work alone and how it has grown.
We were able to visit the farm that was bought with the help of MMN. It has good ground water and can grow produce throughout the year. One volunteer is living there in a tent with his family. The six year old daughter had received Wukwashi’s help with bilateral club foot surgery and was running around happily with her siblings. Up until now it had been the dry season, but there was water available to plant cabbages. It may be an option to take some of the older lads from the school in Ndola to help the farm as a cultivating camp. Some of them already help the gardener at the school and they could have a share of the produce for their work.
We travelled on to Chambeshi with chairs and a standing frame from the Apter workshop, where we dropped them with the group leader, then headed on to the Chingola group. There were twelve children there with a great variety of needs. We were impressed by the care given by siblings in this group. Emeldah was fearful when I went to assess her. She had a twin sister who came alongside taking her to the toilet and then she came back calmer. She needed to go to Beit Cure as her ankles and knees were getting tight. She was able to travel to Lusaka on the bus and has since had surgery. Another lad led his blind two year old brother in walking practice, calling out his name. Outside, a very lively blind lad was busy soon exploring the outside of the car by touch. John gave him the chance to sit inside with his sister and he was using fingers to explore the horn and other controls. His ability was clear and he needs education soon.