What can bring hope to children who have not been able to take part in activities in his home and school or has been mocked because of their physical appearance? Those questions were answered for attendees at the event, Journey of Hope, which took place in Kwoi, Kaduna State on Saturday, 7th May 2022.
The event was organized by Hope for the Village Child Foundation who has been assisting children with rickets in the area around Kwoi for the past seven years. Children who are affected by the rickets, disease caused by a lack of calcium which weakens the bones, are treated with supplemental calcium on a daily basis for not more than three years. The effect for some of the children is that their bones are strengthened and straightened. For other children, whose deformity is too severe, surgery is the option given their parents. To date, close to 200 children have had surgery, some multiple times, and more than 2000 have registered in the programme, receiving calcium.
The children who attended the event and spoke of their experiences told of their despair at thinking they would never be able to have a normal life and further their education while at the same time being the butt of jokes and remarks from others who belittled them to the crippling rickets which affected them. Some of their parents also spoke of their own frustration and feeling of helplessness as they did not know what to do for their children.
But all of the speakers, children and parents alike, spoke of how their lives were changed by this intervention. Some have been able to further their education and are now working in a chosen profession. Some younger ones spoke of their hope that now they can continue their education at a higher level. Parents no longer need to worry about what will happen to their children. The stories told brought laughter, tears and joy as the participants walked with the speakers on their ‘Journey of Hope’.
Godiya Musa before Surgery
Godiya Musa After Surgery
The eyes of many of the attendees were opened as they saw the reality of rickets open before them. They were touched, and the representatives of the traditional leaders as well as other dignitaries spoke of their willingness to do all in their power to ensure that the programme will be a lasting one until there is rickets no longer a reality in Kaduna State.