One of the great pleasures for parents is to see their children grow, develop and achieve key milestones such as sitting, crawling, walking, and talking. For parents of children with special needs, however, these can take longer to occur. This was definitely the case for Monde, a six-year old girl from Sibemi Village in Liuwa Plain. Monde was born with Cerebral Palsy, a condition that affects movement, muscle tone and posture. After years of unsuccessfully seeking medical and traditional treatment from different places, Monde’s mother had lost all hope that her child would develop in a way that she considered ‘normal’.
Upon her return from a trip where she was searching for treatment for Monde, her aunt told her about a programme for children like Monde. Following a recruitment exercise for special needs children in May 2019, Monde was enrolled in the Time + Tide Foundation’s Home-Based Education Programme. At the same time, her grandmother also signed up to be a volunteer caregiver and received training that enabled her to teach Monde basic exercises in the form of play, song and dance that help Monde develop mobility, coordination and motor skills.
When she first enrolled on the programme, Monde was not able to grasp an object, sit up on her own, eat and chew properly, or walk. After only 6 months of weekly intervention, Monde is now able to hold a small object and feed herself. Even though Monde still requires a lot of attention, her mother is overjoyed to see the progress in her daughter.