by Richard Stevens on January 4, 2018
Crawling Over Three Miles to School
“His eyes are set on the future, and he has set the route to follow.” This is the way Wilson Tembo, of the Malawi Project, describes Chifuniro Joseph, a 14-year-old boy from Chikamana Village in the Balaka District of Malawi. A neighbor, who has watched him face his mobility challenge observes, “Despite the challenges he is going through, Chifuniro goes to school every day.”
Going to school is easier said than done. For his age Chifuniro would be in high school, but due to his problems he is in Standard (Grade) 2. When he was young his mother would carry him to school on her back, but at the age of 14 he is now too big for his mother to continue to carry him on her back.
In spite of his difficulty Chifuniro is so committed to his vision that he gets up early each morning, crawls to the bathroom for his morning shower, then picks up his exercise books. He then crawls 6 kilometers to school. At the end of the day he crawls back home. He continues this day after day, week after week, month in and month out.
“Although Chifuniro was able to walk in his early years, he came down with some sort of illness that left him helpless to get around,” reports his mother Mary Msonkho.
Recently Chifuniro’s life and future changed completely when Wilson Tembo came to visit. He brought one of the brand new mobility units from the Malawi Project and Mobility Ministries. With great excitement this 5th born son of a single mother explained, “I am very happy today. My life will change for the better.” Chifuniro was very correct as he will now be able to hand-peddle his way to school without staining his clothes, bruising his hands and legs, and he will arrive on time. This will certainly improve his performance, and he will also arrive with a measure of his dignity intact. His mother will be free to continue the small business she runs to support her family.
Near the end of 2017 another shipment of 200 mobility units were sent to Malawi. This brings to over 600 units shipped in recent months.