Disability is not barrier – Sandra’s Story

by ACT

  • Posted on December 21, 2017

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… Transforming Lives: Sandra Maina Namalwa

For even the most courageous and strong, growing up without parents in a home lacking proper care or the love of one’s siblings would be too tall a hill to climb. For Sandra, this was the life she had to navigate in her native Kenya. During her most formative years, Sandra lost her mother to cancer, and just four months later, her father was stricken with malaria and also passed away. Sandra then lived with her sister, who was not equipped to care for her. Her access to educational opportunities diminished, and her future seemed bleak. And, to make matters significantly worse, Sandra was diagnosed with a spinal cord disorder which, for 8 years, left her largely immobile and incontinent. She was not receiving the love, care, or social support that each of us need in life.

It was shortly thereafter that her local church reached out to ACT to support Sandra’s care and education. Sandra was always a strong student, despite her own limitations, but her future was at stake. Her spinal issues, which rendered it shaped like a snake and crawling on her hand and knees which left her in significant pain, unable to care for herself and even less so address her studies. When the local ACT care team met Sandra there decision was immediate. They recognised that she needed immediate medical care and also funding for her education. Sandra needed love and care so desperately after years of being ignored and cast aside.

Since receiving ACT support, Sandra has seen remarkable improvement, both medically and in her education. After many years of not being able to stand on her feet, live a normal life and enjoy her youth with the care she has received, today she is able to walk normally. While additional therapies are needed, her progress has been awe-inspiring. Sandra is determined to pursue her dream of starting up a beauty salon. She went back to school and studied beauty therapy at a vocational institution. ACT is supporting her to obtain necessary certifications.

Sandra represents a challenge that would be difficult for governments or social agencies to overcome, but with ACT support she has been able to draw on her inner strength to hurdle over her obstacles. Sandra confirms ACT’s vision that with just a little, much can be achieved and lives can be transformed for the better.

If you want to be a part of ACT’s inspiring mission to improve the lives of young people in Africa, please click here.

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