Ebise, Gemeda and Mergitu
Ebise (aged 13), Gemeda (aged 13) and Mergitu (aged 10) come from the Oromia region. Their father Nemomsa Diriba passed away five years ago. After his death, the responsibility to take care of the children and the form was left to their mother Jije. The money that they get from the land is the only means of income for this family.
Ebise and Mergitu were both born with clubfoot on both legs. Gemeda was born with only one leg deformity. When their first child Ebise was born with club foot, Nemomsa and Jije took her to the nearest hospital for treatement. The doctors could not help Ebise. Frustrated, the parents gave up and chose not to take the rest of their children to hospital. They believed it was the result of bad luck, a curse from God, a view shared by their community. Despite this negative attitude towards their children’s conditions, Nemomsa and Jije did not keep their children at home. They sent them to school, believing that education is a stepping stone for everything.
Cheshire Service’s outreach teams were introduced to the siblings when they attended their local outreach centre. The team made their assessments and admitted all three siblings for corrective surgery. They received rehabilitative care that was not just physical, but also psychosocial.
But now, with the help of Cheshire’s experienced team, the siblings have become more confident, and are keen to play with the rest of the children. They are eager to see their legs completely corrected, and no longer believe that they are the only people living with deformity. The education and training they receive at the centre gives them hope that they can learn like every other child in their community.
Gemeda has had his leg and foot corrected, Ebise is fitted with a supportive crutch and Mergitu is about to face her final surgical procedure. The siblings are now so happy with everything that has been done for them. They are excited for the future: Ebise and Gemeda want to become teachers and Mergitu wants to become a doctor.
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Related Work: Disabilities