THE JUVINILLE PROJECT
Here in The Gambia those with disabilities are frequently marginalised, ostracised, socially isolated and many (children) are abandoned. There is no Government assistance and generally the cultural and societal belief is that these people can achieve little more than being street beggar’s.
This is the harsh reality.
Our Juvinille amputee Programme started in February 2019 when we came across 15yr old Dembo. Child Amputees are frequently not at school, being deemed unworthy of the expense of uniform, books, shoes etc in a Country where money is a scarce commodity. Why spend scarce resources on a child deemed unlikely to become anything other than a street beggar. These children are frequently neglected and hidden away.
We Give Hope Where None Exisits. . . . .
OUR AIMS and OBJECTIVES
Three words: ACCEPTANCE, NORMALISATION, INCLUSION.
We aim for these children to be accepted by their families as worthwhile members of the family unit. Accepted by their peers, by their local communities and by society at large.
We hope you agree that the individual children profiles demonstrate that we have indeed achieved our aims and objectives. It is a bonus to the project that our Founder, Jackie Church is a qualified (CQSW) Social Worker.
Are old and cumbersome, heavy and ugly frequently the childrens sizes are not available and the team have to cobble things together. Whilst these are free the sockets to fit the stump have to be molded and made to fit the individual and it is these materials which have to be paid for as well as transport to and from the prosthetic centre in Banjul.
HOW WE DO THIS
Spend time visiting the child and care givers at their home, the children are rarely with their mothers and fathers, rather with extended family, frequently living in abject poverty.
Purchasing the fitting of a prosthetic leg and rehabilitation onto that leg.
Ensuring the child has a place at a school, funding uniform, books and all necessary equipment. At times including school feeding if under nourished which most are.
Purchasing bicycles to promote mobility and social standing. To have a bike is a considerable achievement here and quite a status symbol for a child.
The distances to school are frequently too far to walk on the old prosthetic legs that are available and without a bicycle, attending school would not be an option for most of these children.
Supplying sacks of rice which is the staple food, to the family so as the child is seen to be of some value and to promote improved nutrition.
When donations allow clothes and shoes are given.
We undertake regular home visits to monitor the child and to encourage acceptance and value by the family, promoting love and involvement by the local community.
We find and fund apprenticeships for the older children.
We monitor growth and fund replacement prosthetic fitting as the child outgrows their limbs. New prosthetic limbs are needed approx. every 6 to 9 month depending on growth rate. We monitor for bones growing through the amputation site and arrange and escort for Orthopeadic reviews. This may mean re amputation or trimming of the growing bones is necessary and timely intervention is required along with intensive post operation care.