Zahir & Rowel: Healing their clubfoot gives a family hope
“Zahir and Rowel were babies and we took them to the hospital, their mother objected because she thought they would amputate their feet. So, she refused to take our children to the hospital for fear of losing their feet. She’d rather have children with deformed feet. Because we couldn’t agree, we left the children ’til this age. Otherwise, they would have been treated as babies.”
Part of the CURE Clubfoot Team is made up with the Spiritual Ministry Team. CURE Malawi’s Spiritual Ministry Team visit children who have been treated at CURE Malawi Hospital, and follow-up with them at home to see how children and their parents are doing. Levision brought his two sons, Zahir, 10, and Rowel, 8, to CURE for neglected clubfoot. His sons are nearing the end of their journey. So, we decided to visit them and their family to see how their lives have changed.
Zahir and Rowel came to CURE after a teacher at their school explained to their father, Levison that their clubfoot can be correct, despite the fact they are older. “I was so excited because my desire was to see my children grow up being able to walk on their own without support,” said Levision.
“When we went to the hospital, they welcomed us. While my children were being treated at CURE, I heard the gospel. What touched me was to see my children were being treated. I never thought that one day these feet would look like this.”
The boys’ stepmother, Ethel, says, “Before the boys went to CURE, life was not easy because they needed someone to carry them from point A to point B. But now, I’m happy that they went to the hospital and they are going to be able to walk on their own without somebody’s help. I pray that they continue doing this for other children. We are seeing change in this family and we hope that it happens to other families, also.”
“Before I left the village, a lot of people were speaking ill about my children, but upon my return, most of them, almost all of them, are curious because what they expected is not what they are seeing today. When I was living in the village, I thought it was just my children and I who dealt with disability. But when I went to Beit CURE, I realized there’s more children with these conditions. So, that opened my eyes to say, ‘it’s no only me.’ There’s also other children facing this same problem.”
The family’s life hasn’t only been changed spiritually, but the boys’ healing has also changed the perspective of their community to disability. CURE Malawi’s Spiritual Director, Jimmy Chimphinda explains:
“Normally, disabilities in Malawi are associated with shame. People think, ‘Why me? Are we cursed?’ There’s a lot of those questions and rejection from society. Few children want to play with children who are deformed. You become a laughingstock and are called names. So, coming back with straight feet is changing the mindset in this community. That this disability can be corrected and that they can become just like any other person. Here people say, ‘We can live with disability.’ So, people just accept that their child is disabled and assume there is nothing you can do.”
Levison’s brother, one of the leaders in the village, also spoke to us.
“On behalf of the community, we are so thankful for what you have done coming here, and we thank you for treating these children that have come from our village. We are so grateful and we hope that you are not only treating these children, but also other children from other villages. I also thank our Chief for allowing these people to come to visit our community, to take this message to other children with conditions like these ones. It’s an opportunity for them to sensitize more that these people are helping, that they are healing for free. Whoever the funds are coming from, we thank them because these children needed to be helped and we hope that you continue raising resources for needs like these.”
Zahir and Rowel say, “We are happy that after this treatment, we will be able to go by ourselves and we can run just like any other child and do whatever any other child can do.”
We need your help to help more children like Zahir and Rowel. Please join us to continue changing the lives of those who suffer with a correctable disability.
Go to https://uk.cure.org/clubfoot to learn more about clubfoot.