A Report from Miss Wheelchair Kenya 2019
We continue to keep you in our prayers, and we invite you to join us in prayer for all of the Free Wheelchair Mission family, especially the communities we serve.
While we are thankful for some improving news on COVID-19 here in America, it continues to be a serious concern throughout the developing world. “It is quite tough,” said Ester Njuguna, a young woman in Kenya who is a Free Wheelchair Mission recipient and holds the distinction of being Miss Wheelchair Kenya 2019. “COVID-19 is affecting our town now. Traveling, businesses, and the economy have dropped. It affects the disabled as well as others.”
And, if that was not enough to contend with, a massive swarm of locusts, 20 times larger than the swarms from earlier in the year, threatens to ravage grain fields throughout East Africa.
Yet, in the face of these challenges, Ester continues to be an advocate for those who live with disabilities.
Ester lives with muscular dystrophy. She used to be able to tiptoe short distances, but walking became more difficult for her after high school. Through our distribution partner, Bethany Kids, Ester received a GEN_3 wheelchair in 2017. “The Free Wheelchair Mission wheelchair has good tires, especially when it rains,” she told us. “I can maneuver it in the mud. It is easy to clean, especially the seat. When it rains, I don’t have to worry about rust or the seat absorbing water. I just wipe it clean.”
Ester’s passion is serving others. As Miss Wheelchair Kenya, she has visited prisons, hospitals, and other institutions to encourage individuals of all abilities. Recently, Ester shared a few stories with us of children and families in her community who are waiting for the gift of a wheelchair.
“Sarah is a mother of two and sells grains to support them. However, she is unable to fully concentrate on her job since her daughter, Purity, depends on her completely.” Purity, who turns eight this July, has cerebral palsy and cannot walk. “She’s a joyous and friendly girl,” Ester continued. “Since she lacks a wheelchair, her mother carries her on her back to work and stays with her while her other child goes to school.”
Before the pandemic, Sarah would sell grains at the local marketplace. Now, their family’s source of income is at risk and they are very concerned.
If Purity were to get sick, someone would have to carry her long distances to get medical attention.
With a wheelchair, Purity would be able to sit safely and her mother would be able to more easily care for her and get her medical attention if needed.
Once the COVID-19 restrictions have eased, a wheelchair would allow Sarah to do her work more easily to provide security for the family. Mobility would also allow Purity to start going to school. She shows great interest in learning, which gives Sarah much joy and hope.
Ester shared many more stories of individuals in her community like Purity, whose lives could be changed with the gift of mobility—just like it has for Ester.
Ester recently completed a certificate program in counseling and hopes to advance her studies and earn a diploma. She is so grateful for the support of so many like you who helped to provide her a wheelchair through our ongoing mission in Kenya.
Our mission and the impact of the gift of mobility continues!
However, it is a critical time for Ester’s community and the communities we serve around the world.
Even as things improve here in the developed world, we cannot lose sight of those most at risk during the ongoing pandemic. Your donation to the Medical and Mobility Emergency Fund will provide much-needed medical supplies and mobility aids, including wheelchairs, to communities that are vulnerable in times like these.
Thank you for helping to provide wheelchairs to people like Ester. Together, we will persevere through this season and carry on with our mission to provide the life-transforming gift of mobility to those who need it most.
Founder and President
Free Wheelchair Mission