Margaret Mockford, Children’s Physiotherapist (recently retired from the NHS).
The look on the 6 year old girl’s face was amazing – she was watching the nappies flapping on the washing line, able to look forwards and out into the garden for the first time, possibly the first time ever. This happened when I travelled to Amani cottage to help provide support and training to their therapist and carers. That morning I worked with the therapist and assistant to fit together a new wheelchair, replacing the buggy that she had been using which didn’t sufficiently support her kind of disability, all she could really see was the ceiling. Now fully supported, she could enjoy looking at her friends and the garden around her. It was wonderful to see her joy and delight as well as that of the Therapist – he had really made a difference to her quality of life!
We didn’t stop there; we also explored ways of helping her achieve some communication, helping her to eat more comfortably and touch sensory toys. The new chair was key to all of these. We showed her teacher and her carers how to help her, how to position her comfortably in the chair, and what to expect of her.. This will not only improve this little girl’s quality of life, but it will also help her carers and the therapist build their relationship and share in her achievements.
Amani Cottage is home to about twenty children with disabilities and it is a real privilege for me, as a Children’s Physiotherapist, to be able to visit regularly and act as a mentor, facilitator, sounding-board, and sometimes a teacher. I’m also there to learn, to try to weave my experi
ences in with the culture and setting of western Kenya. Many years ago I worked in Rwanda and Kenya, and I feel the Lord kept a love of Africa in me, ready for something more at this stage of life. I’m blessed to be able to join in.
If you would like to support the valuable work that takes place at Amani Cottage either through donatations or by offering volunteering visit our get involved pages for more information.