Blog 3: Wheels in Kumi, Uganda 2022
We've got a great team working hard in Kumi Uganda from the 10th to 20th Feb. We'll bring you their life-changing stories and pictures just as often as the internet connection allows. Here's Sam's report from day 3 -- pictures to follow soon.
Following what we had learned on Day 2, Day 3 began with organising a seating system in the waiting area, this made it far easier to keep track of where in the process the clients were: Registered, seen by therapists, fitted for wheelchairs and seen by the pastor. This made the whole system much smoother for the workers and seemed to keep the clients happier as they could see how soon they should be seen.
Throughout the day we met some lovely people, including one returning customer! Paul, a 15 year old who was born with cerebral palsy, had received a wheelchair from WftW a few years ago which sadly broke last year. Since then, his friends have carried him around and he has lost some of his freedom. It was lovely to see how bright Paul was, with amazing English, clearly the ability to transport himself to school with his wheelchair has given him an excellent education. We hope that this wheelchair will allow him to return to that freedom and transport himself to school once more.
Mary, a 70 year old woman rented her clothes to people in her village so that she could pay for the transportation to the distribution. Her children used to carry her and bring her water from the bore hole, however 8 years ago they had to move away to find work. This left Mary only able to crawl to retrieve water, carrying it back upon her back. Mary believes that it was witchcraft that left her unable to walk. It is a common belief that people are disabled because they have been cursed. Our pastor explained God’s love for Mary as he prayed for her and she left content and with a Bible.
It was excellent to see the community event this distribution has become, as we see everyone helping each other on and off trucks, assisting with the folding of wheelchairs. As groups from the neighbouring villages meet, it is not just staff doing the work but everyone lending a hand!
Today we saw 36 clients, 22 of whom took wheelchairs away with them and four people gave their lives to Jesus. While this is fewer than the previous day, the quality of service we were able to provide had increased massively, with every client leaving with a beaming smile.