I want to introduce you to Lizeth. She latched onto my Flip camera at the Special Needs Center where she is a student.
Lizeth is just like my kids — figured out the camera’s buttons in about half a second. For the next half hour, she ran around recording everyone she could find, her bubbly laugh echoing around the center.
Here’s a little sample of what she and I captured. (P.S. Email subscribers, don’t miss it! Just click the title of this post to view the video on my blog.) (P.P.S. I’m not a practice video editor so please bear with me.)
Isn’t she precious?
Today, she received a new pair of shoes and two orthotic braces, one for one of her hands and one for her foot, which she was unable to set flat on the floor.
Her mother is a single mother who cares for Lizeth and another girl about Lizeth’s age whose mother died. She told me that before World Vision came, the mothers of children with special needs had been unable to get any help.
When World Vision staff launched the ADP (area development project) in Colomi just a year ago, they asked the community what they thought they needed most. The Colomi community requested help for their special-needs children. (I learned later this is unusual.) World Vision’s mission is to help the most vulnerable, and who is more vulnerable than these?
They took the then-fledgling Special Needs Center and with the help of community leaders, grew it into a five-day preschool-style program with both morning and afternoon classes. World Vision is also advocating for the community to the government to provide a bus to pick up the children, as many of them aren’t mobile and too large to carry. The medical care, equipment, nutrition assistance, and regular classes (which includes physical therapy) has transformed the lives of both the children and their families with hope for the future.
[To read posts from my team members, check out World Vision's Bolivia blog.]