Ebenezer has been receiving services from BCC since the project began in 2007. He was 9 when he began receiving services; now he is 13 years old. Ebenezer attends the day center program offered at Msaranga parish. He is a happy young man who enjoys interacting with others.
When Ebenezer was born, he did not have any noticeable disability. However, once he was at the age where he started to receive vaccinations, things started to change. He had difficulty walking and, according to his mother, was suddenly less interactive and less responsive to her. It is unclear if his disability developed due to some mistake with the vaccinations, or if that was simply the stage of development where he began showing signs of having a disability. Either way, Ebenezer has mobility issues and is non-communicative.
Before receiving services from BCC, Ebenezer was mostly confined to his home. His parents were small crop farmers and could not afford to send him to physical therapies or pay for the expensive hospital bills. Ebenezer was often sick with malaria and repertory illnesses. His parents were often unable to afford hospital visits or medications to treat his illnesses due to their extreme poverty. His family was rarely able to afford three meals a day due to their situation. Also, Ebenezer did not have a wheelchair or any devices to assist him with mobility.
Immediately after Ebenezer started receiving services from BCC, he went to BCC’s physical therapy partner, CCBRT, for their week-long intensive care program. He received a wheelchair that was paid for by one of BCC’s partners. He was also able to leave the home and interact with other children in the community.
One more benefit that Ebenezer received was an increase in family income. His mother, Janeth, is employed through BCC as an in-home support worker. Because of Janeth’s employment, their family income increased from less than an average of $30 per month (an inconsistent income that revolved on growing seasons) to nearly $100 per month.
BCC provided Ebenezer with a wheelchair and necessary leg braces. His mother is trained by CCBRT to administer physical therapy, so he receives this valuable treatment daily. He receives three meals per day and is able to socially interact with children in the Moshi community. The increase in family income means that Ebenezer is able to visit a doctor more often when he becomes sick and his family can often afford the necessary medications to cure his illnesses. However, the family cannot afford all medical expenses.
Ebenezer’s story represents the full set of supportive services that BCC strives to provide for every family. Ebenezer is able to receive physical therapy, educational services, and social interaction with other children at the BCC day center. Also, his mother received employment, thus an increase in economic standing was achieved by the family. This meant that Ebenezer was able to receive nutritious meals three times a day and that he could visit a doctor when he was sick.
This comprehensive set of services that Ebenezer and his family receive is the goal for all children who receive services from BCC.
Below is a photo of Ebenezer and his mother, Janeth.