Seven-year-old Grace Nachivula is blessed. She can walk, run, go to school, play with her friends, and get through the day without severe pain.
What’s so amazing about that, you ask?
Until recently, she could not do any of those things – at least not without extreme difficulty. Like many other children in Zambia and throughout the developing world, Grace suffered from bowed legs, a condition often caused by hunger and virtually permanent – not because it can’t be treated, but because the poor can’t afford surgery.
Bowed legs are normal at birth, and naturally correct themselves during early childhood. But dietary deficiencies of vitamin D and other nutrients can hijack the process, leaving the child deformed.
At home, Grace survives on a diet almost exclusively of maize meal. The average Zambian family consumes two $110 lb. bags of the starch-heavy food per month, but Grace’s family is so poor that they had only two bags for all of last year. Her father earns pennies doing odd jobs as a day laborer, while her mother stays at home raising Grace and her four siblings.
Most likely, Grace would have lived her whole life with bowed legs, if not for the intervention of Sr. Margaret and the compassionate sisters at Kabulonga Cheshire Home. Through this wonderful program, Grace has been provided with three surgeries and ongoing follow-up care, so she can go to school with her friends and live a normal, happy life. The kindness of the Cheshire Home staff has made such an impression on little Grace that she now says her dream is to become a nun and serve others.
Cross International Catholic Outreach provides critical operational support for Kabulonga Cheshire Home, so that physically disabled children like Grace can receive the medical care, nutritious food, and loving pastoral support they desperately need. Click here to learn more about this great ministry!