“Every child deserves a chance to be just that-a child”
Project Lolo was created with the belief that all children, regardless of differing physical abilities, deserve equal standing, regard and care. Sadly, that is not the case for many of worlds’ children, especially those living in developing countries. The World Health Organization estimated in their 2011 World Report on Disability estimates the number of children aged 0–14 years experiencing “moderate or severe disability” at 93 million (5.1%), with 13 million (0.7%) children experiencing severe difficulties.
We experienced this sobering reality when we traveled to Ghana and Guatemala and met with children who have differing abilities, both physical and cognitive. We met several young children in Ghana who escaped the barbaric practice of infanticide. Happily, Project Lolo has been able to provide prostheses for some of these children.
In Guatemala, we met children who lost limbs due to horrific accidents. The story that touched me the greatest was of a young girl who lost her arm in a meat grinder while helping in the family’s butcher shop. In Guatemala, the children seemed to have the love and support of their family; In Ghana, many of the children were abandoned or neglected by their families because of the burden of caring for them or the stigma that society places on children with differing abilities. These children touched our lives. When we return to Ghana, it will be sad to some of the same children, knowing that their families have given up on them or rejected them
Our goal is to provide a child with access to the care and orthopedic equipment needed to live a life of opportunity and inclusion. In the forward for the World Report, Astrophysicist Stephen Hawking wrote “It is very clear that the majority of people with disabilities in the world have an extremely difficult time with everyday survival, let alone productive employment and personal fulfillment.” Project Lolo strives to launch every child on a trajectory for a productive and fulfilling life.
By now, I hope you’ve had an opportunity to watch the brief video of 8 year old Sayeed, the Afghan boy joyously dancing after receiving a new prostheses: https://youtu.be/OKOTKY8DQow If not, take a few moments to watch.
The first video I saw only showed him dancing; this second one gives him an opportunity to share his story. Sayeed also shares his wish for peace and calm in his country and to be able to go out and play with friends: https://youtu.be/vTMs_wxrGcA
This is exactly why Project Lolo does what we do- giving children an opportunity to be a child. To play, to live up to their full potential and realize a life of inclusion and fulfillment. Unfortunately, a prostheses is not a “one time” purchase. Just as children outgrow clothing and shoes, so too do they outgrow devices. There is a continuing need for care for this population of children. Our ability to provide access to orthopedic care and devices such as prostheses, wheelchairs, walkers, braces and such can only happen with the generosity of our supporters and sponsors. Your gifts allow us to provide continued care for some of the most vulnerable and marginalized children in this world.
Project Lolo is a 501C-3 Non-profit organization. Donations, gifts, sponsorship and product donations may be tax deductible