Two Children, Two Limitless Lives, Thanks to the Generous Support of Project Lolo Donors
Blessing and Kobe Gained Mobility with Project Lolo’s Support in Obtaining Orthopedic Medical Care and Prostheses
In December 2017, my brother Greg and I traveled to the Orthopedic Training Center (OTC) in Ghana, West Africa. Although the primary mission of our trip was to spend time learning about the OTC and the orthopedic care that they provide to children; once we met the children who live there, our lives were inextricably changed by them.
Since our trip to Ghana, we officially launched Project Lolo; held two welcome-to-the-world parties; and keep pushing forward to raise awareness about the reality of the children we met in Africa. Two such children are Blessing and Kobe.
Blessing is a precocious 7-year old with an infectious smile that outwardly manifests her tremendous fortitude. And Kobe is an enthusiastically, energetic 18-month old whose wiggle and giggle radiate pure joy. Both children were born with congenital limb deficiencies and both children are survivors.
Born in a society that too-often looks upon children with differing abilities as being less-than-human, Blessing and Kobe narrowly avoided infanticide.
In Ghana, “spirit children” are children with disabilities who are believed to possess evil powers that cause misfortune to their families and others. Disability is so stigmatized that these children are given to witch doctors who concoct a tea of poisonous herbs and administer it to the child. It is believed that if the child dies from the poisonous tea, then evil was the root of the child’s disability and their bodies are discarded in the jungle or in the river. If a child survives, then it is believed evil was not the cause. Although the atrocious practice was banned in 2013, it still horrifically and quietly occurs.
And so, to see Blessing and Kobe’s faces, we see two children with indomitable spirit and will. Fortunately, thanks to the kind souls who intervened, neither child were given to witch doctors. Shortly after she was born, the nurse to whom Blessing was given so she could be “taken care of” refused to do so and found a safe haven for Blessing her until she could eventually personally adopt her. Kobe’s beautiful young mother fearlessly fled their village, to never return, when a family member suggested that Kobe be given to the local witch doctor.
Blessing and Kobe are now in the loving care of the OTC where their lives are forever being positively changed. At the OTC, they attend school; they receive orthopedic care; they play and live with other children; and most importantly, they are given the dignity, respect and right to life that all children deserve.
Now, thanks to the wonderfully generous help from Project Lolo’s friends and supporters, Blessing and Kobe received their first pairs of prosthetic legs! Because of this outpouring of kindness, together we have raised enough funds to pay for Blessing and Kobe’s first (of many) pairs of prosthetic legs, on which they have taken their first steps! Their first steps into the lives they deserve to live.
I humbly thank the Project Lolo community for your love and your support of our mission and purpose in helping children, like Blessing and Kobe, lead limitless lives.
Love ourselves, love others.
With gratitude, Leslie