The Story Of Neema
With a shy smile Neema is telling us she wants to go to school. The young woman is 16 years old and has never put a foot into a classroom. She is paralyzed, cannot move her legs and was born with a Spina Bifida.
She is dependent on a wheelchair and the disease has left deep scars on her legs, feet and her soul. She was born with a spinal defect that made it impossible for her to control her bladder or bowels.
A simple procedure like Catheterization can have such a big impact on the life of a child with Spina Bifida. The Haydom Team is teaching parents and kids how to perform it themselves.
Socially isolated with no friends and no opportunity to attend school or any public activities with no support from her family she has lost hope.
Neema – the basketball talent
The just 17 year old Neema dribbles the basketball several times next to her wheelchair before she releases it unerringly. At the same time it appears highly concentrated. Actually the young woman is still a young teenager. Unfortunately, she was robbed of her youth at an early age. There was little that was pleasant in her still so young life. Neema was born with spina bifida, a defect of the spinal cord that paralysed her hip down. Her family has turned away from her, as until recently she always seemed wet and unclean due to her intestinal and bladder weakness. Neema never attended school. Her incontinence made this impossible. Only after learning the catheter and intestinal management the young girl is dry and clean. Deep wounds mark her mutilated feet, she seems to be ashamed as we clean them and apply honey bandages. She has been in a wheelchair for a year now, but the ravages of time have already worn away at this chair, too, and provide little support in her everyday life.
Together with the team of the hospital workshop and Jens as well as David, important adjustments and corrections are made, among other things an important standing board for the feet is renewed. The otherwise so shy and unsociable Neema suddenly blossoms when she is allowed to try out David’s cool Mzungu wheelchair. She obviously likes it. And now that her own vehicle had improved and served her better, she was unbeatable at basketball. For Neema it is an important experience that she is not alone with her specialness. The role model effect of such a cool guy in a wheelchair like David was just right. And who knows, maybe one day she will be the captain of the Spina youth basketball team.
The story of Neema shows how important a good follow up on those children is. With your donation you can help us continue this in Haydom and you can help us sending Neema to school as a next step. Every Cent counts.