Sometimes I hear stories that are so sad, they stay with me for a long, long time. And, as time passes, I get more and more adamant that we WILL do something to right the wrong done to the person of whom the story is told. Today, I have such a story for you, of a young man named Rama.
Rama is a jovial 7 year old boy, orphaned after the death of both his parents. He was left under the custody of relatives who later despised him. They developed all ways of disposing of him but couldn't do so. One day, they dumped in a neighborhood far from the family, hoping he'd die or that someone else would take care of him. During that terribly difficult time in his young life, things only got worse. He was hit on the right side parietal bone by a falling coconut which left the little one paralyzed on the left side for a short time, but now, his left arm & leg are weak.
He was collected by a well wisher, a grandmother who volunteered to take care of him together with her three grandchildren. She is widowed and jobless but said she'd take care of Rama - how could she leave him to die or to fend for himself at such a young age? The first thing grandma did was to bring Rama to our clinic in Mombasa, where he was tested. Indeed, he is HIV+, so he receives medical care and medicine free of charge from the clinic where he also attends Kids Club. Despite the weakness on his left side, this young boy is full of life and joy, playing hard and learning everything he can during Kids Club. He looks forward to visiting the clinic for his monthly stash of medicine and easily won everyone's hearts.
One of the most diffcult things for grandma, though, was to pay for Rama's school fees, uniform and shoes, though. She barely had the funds to pay for her grandchildren...how could she add another child to the list of costs? This is where we stepped in again and Rama now doesn't have to worry about missing school, thanks to his fees and costs being covered by folks like you. I tell you, there is nothing better than walking up to the clinic while Kids Club is happening and looking for the kids we've helped and who are in our programs. Whenever I see Rama, I know that I am going to be met by a huge smile and the tightest hug I could ever ask for. He breathes in my neck and I breathe into his and we both know he'll be fine.
If you ever want to meet Rama, let me know and I'll make it happen. We take teams to visit some of our projects and I know grandma, Rama and the other kids would love to see you there. Just drop me a note at tweaver@AFCAids.org and let's dream together of getting you to Mombasa, Kenya to meet Rama and others you've helped.
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