Adwoa is walking …. and so does Nyamekye!!

It is a well-known fact and proven yet again this year that PCC is a good and very stimulating environment to learn how to walk.

Adwoa has lived in PCC and worked in the Sheltered Workshop for several years now. She is a young adult from Sunyani who should be going to her relatives during the holidays. However, reality is that she is staying in PCC almost all the time because her family is letting her down in this respect in spite of the considerable pressure we put on her relatives to have her coming over for the holidays. It seems her father has threatened her mother with a divorce if she picks up Adwoa to stay with them for a couple of weeks during vacation time. Unfortunately we are often confronted with this attitude of (especially) fathers towards their disabled child. In fact it proves that the problems that disabled children in Ghana are facing do not belong to the past, far from it. That is of course the reason why PCC was founded 24 years ago and nowadays there still is an urgent need for a safe and caring Community like Hand in Hand.
Adwoa is a very sweet and optimistic young woman, though. She is slightly intellectually disabled and she is not able to talk well. She also has physical limitations, she is not able to stretch her legs and as consequence she cannot walk, only with bent knees. But she is very skilled at moving from one place to another in her wheelchair. And she is great at swinging and dancing on her knees! In the Workshop she is very good at working at a handloom, which of course suits her very well.

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Thanks to the help of the Abesim Rehabilitation Centre and the expertise of Teus van de Kamp, who works for this centre, ortheses were fitted for both of Adwoa’s knees and lower legs in January. And she has been practising with them every day since then, supported herself with a walking frame. It is wonderful and inspiring to watch her walk, but it certainly is not “easy-peasy” in spite of the devices. She is working arduously and persistently and with a broad smile on her face.
In all honesty one is confronted with a question, which arises more often in these kinds of cases. Is walking with the help of ortheses and a walking frame really a step forward for her or is using her wheelchair a better and faster way of moving eventually? Time will learn, for now learning how to walk certainly contributes to her self-esteem and is making her proud!
Maybe less exceptional but not less pleasant to look at is the fact that Nyamekye, our youngest resident, has learnt how to walk in the mean time and is strolling along the compound. He is 17 months old now and he is having a good time exploring an ever-growing world. You can see in his eyes that he has having great fun.
Some time ago I already put the same text over a column of mine and I can safely repeat it here:
PCC is marching on nicely, it has been proven again!