Wheelchair brings a smile to Mwikali, in Kenya

By Zipporah Kageha Karani, World Vision Communications Officer, Kenya

Although Mwikali may have trouble speaking, she has no trouble communicating her joy, greeting visitors with a big smile as she grabs their hands to greet them.

Mwikali spent her first 14 years without a wheelchair. With limited mobility, moving around wasn’t easy. “I used to crawl and I used to feel pain,” says Mwikali.

Wheelchairs for Kids is an ongoing valued partner of World Vision. They regularly provide wheelchairs children in need in Malawi, Uganda and Kenya. The wheelchairs provide hope and a fresh start for children just like Mwikali.

The wheelchairs are specially designed to suit the tough African terrain, including urban and rural communities. All the way from Australia, World Vision ships Wheelchairs for Kids’ bright and colourful wheelchairs to children who need them most. A third vital member of this partnership, Motivation Charitable Trust, trains local health centre staff to fit wheelchairs and ensure children are safe and happy. “When I was being fitted for a wheelchair, I could not believe it,” exclaims Mwikali.

A few years ago, Mwikali joined the Mbiuni Rehabilitation Centre in her community. The centre provides education and care for children living with disabilities. Ultimately, it helps children to feel like kids again.

Mwikali’s fit-for-purpose wheelchair has a tray which allows her to learn and play wherever she goes!

Already, Mwikali’s English has improved and her ability to write and read is getting much better.

When Mwikali began her time at the centre, she didn’t have any physical support aids for movement. But, Mrs Munyao, one of Mwikali’s teachers, tells World Vision that Mwikali is now one of the most active girls in her class and could soon join a vocational training centre.

“Thank you for giving me the wheelchair,” says Mwikali. “My movement has been eased and I can go where I want. I have many friends and they help me in school to move around with me!”

During the holiday season, Mwikali goes home to stay with her family. It’s much easier for her mother now that Mwikali has her own wheelchair.

Now, Mwikali is excited for her future. “As much as I am living with a disability, I want to become a driver,” says Mwikali with confidence. Mwikali is also considering becoming a tailor to make clothes for members of her community. “My mother is the first person I will make clothes for,” she says.

Thank you, Wheelchairs for Kids, for inspiring children like Mwikali to strive for their dreams.