Saturday, 6 May 2017

Looking for a sponsor for the lovely Lawrence

My sister Rhi couldn't keep away from Zambia this year either! She made her third trip to Kaniki to spend two weeks with me before we travelled back to the UK together. You may remember that she's an Occupational Therapist so last year spent some time supporting Lawrence, one of the pupils at Kapumpe. Here she provides an update on his progress and explains why we are now hoping to find him a sponsor...

Rhi with Lawrence and some of his friends

Last summer I wrote a blog post about Lawrence, a student at Kapumpe who has cerebral palsy. This year I returned to Kapumpe and met Lawrence again. He is now in Grade 2, running around school confidently on crutches and still as happy as ever. When doing Lawrence’s exercises with him, I noticed that he seemed much stronger and more flexible than he was last year. Lawrence and his father told us that they have been doing the exercises with him at home, and that he has been walking at home with his crutches rather than crawling which is how he had moved around previously.

Confident on crutches

Grade 2 at Kapumpe

When I returned to Kapumpe, his Grade 2 teacher told me that unfortunately Lawrence has missed a significant amount of school due to the weather – the rainy season runs from November to April in Zambia. Last summer Rosie and I visited Lawrence and his family and saw how rural their home is. It helped us to see and understand why any wet weather or problems with their bike prevents Lawrence from attending school. Lawrence is such a happy and motivated student so it’s frustrating to see how these factors impact his education.

Ellie with Lawrence's teacher

Lawrence’s Grade 2 teacher is physically disabled herself, and was supported by Arise to attend a school in town for children with physical disabilities. She has been teaching at Kapumpe since the school began in 2014, and has defied the usual expectations for people with disabilities in her community. This is something we want for Lawrence. After discussing the situation with his teacher and Lawrence’s father, Arise and Kapumpe teams are considering whether this school in town would be more beneficial for Lawrence. He would be able to board at the school and therefore eliminate the problems he has with attendance, and there would be physiotherapy available on site and access to a doctor for any medical issues that may arise.

Lawrence's parents
Unfortunately Lawrence’s family are not in a position to be able to afford this school. Whilst we see their commitment in bringing Lawrence such a distance to school and in doing his exercises at home, they have struggled to contribute to the hugely discounted fees that Kapumpe has charged so far. Therefore we are looking for a kind-hearted person who would be interested in sponsoring £25 per month to enable Lawrence to attend this specialist school in town. If you would be interested in helping or would like more information please feel free to get in touch.

Lawrence loving the slide

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