Through Their Eyes

Gemma – Kiboloroni

Gemma is a young girl who attends the day center at Kiboloroni. She has a beautiful smile and the staff work very well with her. We are at Kiboloroni day center a lot throughout a typical week because that is where the bag cooperatives are located. Due to the location of the cooperatives, we have gotten to know the children at Kiboloroni better than the children at any other day center.

Gemma requires a little more assistance than the other children at Kiboloroni. Gemma has a wheelchair which she received from BCC through CCBRT. She needs assistance eating and the day center staff regularly perform physical therapy with her.

Gemma’s mother is employed through BCC as a day center staff member. She makes approximately 90 dollars per month. Gemma’s father left when he found out that Gemma had a disability. Gemma’s mother re-married and had a child with her new husband. Gemma lives with her mother, a younger brother and her stepfather. Her stepfather is not employed, so the family’s only income comes from Gemma’s mother. The family rents two rooms in a multi-family dwelling with a shared courtyard in the center of the home.

Because Gemma needs so much assistance, particularly with eating, she becomes sick very frequently. She often gets pneumonia, malaria, and diarrhea. She goes to the hospital frequently and her family struggles to pay the hospital bills. She has been prescribed monthly medication and the family struggles to pay for the medication. The medication is approximately 3 dollars per month. Recently it was recommended that Gemma receive a minor surgery. The surgery is very expensive so the family will have to save money for several months before they can afford the surgery.

With the Pro-Mot Healthcare program, Gemma will regularly see a doctor. She will also be visited in the day center by medical students. There will also be money available for medical follow-up and to assist her family to pay for the recommended surgeries. This will mean that Gemma will receive the surgeries or medications as they are prescribed as opposed to waiting for her family to save money.


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