Standing Tall: Justine Overcomes Isolation at School

school children disability cbm canadaWith less than a week to go until school starts, Toronto families are squeezing whatever fun they can out of the last days of vacation, and preparing for the return to class. That might mean new clothes, coats and shoes, as the old ones have been outgrown. What would happen, though, if your child outgrew his or her feet?

Isolated and Embarrassed at School

Justine was a young girl without feet living in Uganda. Her mother died when she was very young, and her father was too poor to afford new prosthetics when she outgrew her old ones. To get around, she walked with sandals strapped to her knees. At school, the other children just stared, while she stood isolated and exluded from the activities children love. She was bitterly embarrassed and lonely.

For children with disabilities in the poorest communities of the world, there are few options. They are often hidden away, forgotten by their communities, governments and most charitable organizations. However, Justine was lucky. She was found by cbm Canada, a leading international Christian development organization. cbm focuses on finding and trying to help children who are trapped in the cycle of poverty and disability.

school isolation justine cbm canada

Standing Tall

When cbm found Justine, her life changed. She travelled to CoRSU, a hospital cbm supporters helped build in Uganda. When she was there, she had her legs cast, which the staff used to form prosthetic lower legs that fit Justine perfectly. With an ankle joint and a foot, they were finely balanced so Justine could stand tall and straight. “I’m so excited because I see the future in her, so I’m really grateful for what has been done for her,” Justine’s father Shem shared.

Through its work with children like Justine, cbm empowers kids to live longer, fuller lives. To further their mission, they’ve set an urgent but attainable goal. By the end of September 2013 they want to give 1000 children with disabilities the ability, confidence and opportunity to go to school.

Support cbm Canada

You can help cbm reach its goal in two ways:
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  1. Make an email pledge today, because every child deserves an education. For every 1000 email pledges cbm receives, a generous sponsor will fund one child’s complete care – from identification through to access to education – for one year.
  2. Give a $30 gift. It doesn’t sound like much, but it will allow cbm to find a hidden child with a disability and begin their first, critical steps toward healing.

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children disability cbm canadaThis article was sponsored by cbm Canada. Every year, cbm helps over 31 million people in 73 countries in Asia, Africa, Latin America and the Middle East. Visit www.cbmcanada.org to learn more about how Canadians can help vulnerable children like Justine get to school this September and take their first steps towards self-confidence.
 

Amber Strocel

Amber Strocel is the Managing Editor of City Mom Now, the parent network of Toronto Mom Now. She is a writer, podcaster, ardent crafter and green mom, who believes strongly in the power of the Internet to connect and empower. You can follow her on her personal blog at Strocel.com.