Family Connections

by | May 14, 2024 | Enable the Children, Sierra Leone

Family. This word invokes feelings of comfort and peace in many people. For some, it can invoke feelings of loss and pain. Across the world and throughout cultures, we have hopes and dreams for our families. Sometimes, our hopes and dreams can feel dashed when we welcome a baby who has different abilities. In Sierra Leone, cultural belief persists that a child born with a disability is a devil and should be left in the woods to die. Many times, when a mom refuses this course of action, dads leave their families and mom is left to care for the entire family, including the child living with a disability. 

Thankfully, the Enable the Children team is working to shift this mindset. Through community education and special beach days, families and communities are learning that children have value no matter their level of ability. Enable the Children is connecting families of children living with disabilities which is empowering them to know that they are not alone. 

A Family Success Story

Chernor and his family are a beautiful example of inclusion and acceptance. Chernor has been a part of the Enable the Children program for 8 years. When he first entered the program, he could not walk. He was diagnosed with cerebral palsy diplegia. Through the help of physical therapists and physical aids to assist him and his family, Chernor is walking and shining his light in his community. His smile is infectious as is his zest for life.  

Chernor’s parents have benefited from this partnership with Enable the Children and are committed to empowering their son. Having the team visit regularly to support and encourage Chernor and his parents has been an anchor of hope for them over the long haul. His parents have been his biggest support over the years working with him to do his exercises and cheer him on.  

Mother and daughter with disabilities at the beach

Beach Day

Chernor attended Beach Day in Freetown, Sierra Leone in March 2024 and met other children and youth living with disabilities. This event began in 2008 and is now an annual event of encouragement, celebrating children who live with disabilities and their families, where they build connections and find that they are not alone. They leave this fun day filled with hope. Enable the Children is equipping families to thrive and live with the unexpected diagnoses – to put words to what they are experiencing and to live with dignity.  

Partnering with World Hope to sponsor a child living with a disability is a special way to bring transformation to an entire community. Your gift of sponsorship will give opportunity, dignity, and hope to children and their families living with disabilities.  

Yes, my soul, find rest in God; my hope comes from him. Psalm 62:5 NIV

ETC is a WHI program made up of local and expatriate staff who provide physiotherapy and occupational therapy, care, and support services to children living with disabilities in Freetown, Sierra Leone.  Learn more about ETC and events that empower children with disabilities in Sierra Leone. And consider getting involved by sponsoring a child with special needs or supporting this and powerful projects like it with a gift to The Hope Fund.

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