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Thursday, June 17, 2010

A Pram (Stroller) for Paul's Friend - Batsiranai

About 2 years ago I blogged about a ten year old boy named Paul who suffered from cerebral palsy. Paul was the son of one of the mothers of disabled children at Batsiranai who makes a living by making toys sold on the Tashanda website.  I'm sad to say he passed away shortly after visiting him in 2008 but we only found out when we went back to Batsiranai early last year to donate a pram (stroller) we had purchased especially for him. It was terribly depressing and demoralizing to be honest, especially after the excitement of knowing that he would finally be able to replace his hand made (albeit eco-friendly) papier mache chair with a soft well cushioned pram (stroller). It was too little, too late and I felt awful about it for a while.  In fact his passing is why it has taken me so long to post this just hurt too much.  FREE stuff for the coming baby!That day, after pulling myself together, I asked the mothers if any  other disabled child needed a pram (stroller) and they all cried "Tafadzwa !!" at the same time.  Tafadzwa is another little boy who suffers the same illness as Paul and he is the son of one of the women at the cooperative.  They view all the children as their own and it was clear they had been waiting for an opportunity to help Tafadzwa for a very long time.  They sang songs of praise as we unwrapped the pram and placed Tafadzwa in it.  His mother was especially excited because she carries him on her back to and from Dzivarasekwa (high density suburb in Harare) every day for at least an hour each way. 

The picture below shows Tafadzwa (left of picture) in the arms of oneof his carers.  His mother, along with another 25 - 35 mothers of disabled children, makes the products seen on Tashanda (site temporarily disabled) such as African dolls, baby bibs, fridge magnets and more

There was so much joy in the room because of the purchase of this very small gift.  It pains me to see discarded baby products on New York city side walks because I know they are going to a landfill when they could be put to good use where they are genuinly needed.  However I still celebrate moments such as the one I experienced at Batsiranai.  Below Tafadzwa's's new pram (stroller) is being adjusted to make him more comfortable.  The last picture shows Tafadzwa and his mom on their first journey back home in his new pram (stroller)

I am still sad about Paul, but I am also happy to have eased Tafadzwa's suffering. Did I mention he is only ten years old?  Yes, small as he is, he is ten years old!  His pram (stroller) was donated by Tashanda from the sales proceeds of the toys made by the mothers of these disabled children, the women of Batsiranai. 
"It's customers like you that make all this possible, so thanks, thanks very much!"

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