Monday, March 20, 2017

A wheelchair for Lele

Meet the newest member of One Family, three-year-old Reubens, affectionately called Lele.  Lele has cerebral palsy and is unable to voluntary control his trunk and limbs.  Earlier this year, Lele became quite ill.  His father, who has been his primary caregiver, brought him to an American clinic a great distance from his home for treatment.  There, he told the nurses that he feared he could no longer care for Lele, largely because he could not simultaneously provide the full-time care Lele needs and work to financially support the two of them.  With no daycare or welfare system in Haiti, he had exhausted what little resources and support he had.  This organization was not prepared to accept Lele, but they connected him with us. 

The harsh reality in Haiti is that due to lack of medical and supportive resources, many children with disabilities do not survive past infancy. If they do survive, superstitions surround them and they are often rejected by their own families and communities. When Lele arrived at One Family he was met with apprehension and even fear from the other children as well as some of the adult employees. They wondered if they could catch what he has, if he was spiritually unwell.  Many of the children had never met a disabled child before they met Lele.   We worked intentionally to introduce Lele and openly discuss his medical condition.  With the help of his charming smile and sweet disposition, Lele soon became a sensation at the foundation!  Several of the girls now keep track of where he is, when he last ate, and who gets to hold him next.  Our caregivers and nurses have lovingly taken to him, (quickly curing the pneumonia he had when he arrived), and learning his likes and dislikes.   Lele’s presence is teaching us all how to challenge the fear of the unknown by facing it head-on with love and kindness. 

Lele will require a level of care and support unlike any child at One Family.  He must be held if not laying in his crib, he needs to be fed a special diet, by hand.  He must be carried everywhere.   Lele loves being with other children, and is a bright and funny boy.  He loves to laugh, and though he can only speak a few words, he makes his opinions known.  It is our desire to provide Lele the opportunities to be fully involved in life at One Family, to eat with the other children, to move around the playground, to go to church, and even to go to school!

After much praying and searching in Haiti and America, God has provided a wheelchair perfectly suited to Lele's special needs!  The chair has been generously donated, but we must cover the shipping and transportation costs to deliver it to Lele (about $400.)

Would you join us in welcoming Lele to our family, and prayerfully consider helping us support these initial costs as well as Lele's long term needs?   Donations can be made quickly and securely here;  please add "Lele" in the memo field.   

Thank you!