International day of the girl child is always a special day for my daughter Therese and I especially being my only daughter. She is always sure she would get some goodies from me and then we some girls talks. I always allow her choose what we will talk on.
This year was different. Two days before then she had come home telling me about a little girl with disabilities in another neighborhood but close to mine whom they were planning to visit in their church group . she urged me to go pay her a visit as she had heard the neighbors were keeping away from that home.
Note that we come from an area were there are still terrible myth surrounding persons with disabilities especially those with cerebral palsy. My first son lives with a disability though not cerebral palsy. I have experienced it and I know how painful it could be.
Honestly I have been feeling sick from hard work and the trauma of my husband still locked up.
I decided I pay her a visit and also bring her some covid19 kits. What a remarkable day it turned out to be. What a brilliant way of celebrating the international day of the girl child.
When I got to her home. I met her wheel chair empty at the corridor. My heart melted. I called out and her dad responded. I introduced myself and asked to see her.
He said she was in bed because some children came teasing her and she fell off her wheel chair. I tried so hard to hold back tears to no avail. I begged him to bring her out so we could spend some quality. He was skeptical but then heeled to my demand. It is only later during our conversation that I discovered that he was sceptical because no one had visited her in a very long while.
When she came out I came closer to her, greeted her and introduced myself. She gave me a smile. That is the smile I needed all this while. I could read in her eyes that she was saying " pack up your troubles Regina, regain your strength and go out there. There are so many persons with disabilities who need your love, care and services"
She kept smiling from time to time as I told her stories and also tried suggesting and discussing with her father on some possible services she could benefit from. Her father was so happy to see her daughter smile. He said he had never seen her so happy. No visitor has ever sat near her to talk with her. They always talk at a distance.
At the end of the visit her father confessed they always attended to her in a rush and don't even ask her opinion or explain anything to her they thought she wouldn't understand. He said it was a learning process for him.
To me it was a day well celebrated. It was a success story to me especially as I changed the perception of a whole household of 9 persons on their own child with disability apart from giving the girl herself some joy.
Since then i have regained my strength . I have attended trainings and Workshops aimed at empowering these Vulnerable persons which I will be sharing subsequently all thanks to this little girl . She reawakened the hard working spirit in me .
i will be visiting her again with my daughter as she has been saving her school launch to get her little present for her.