Today was a whirlwind of a day.
Therapists went to work in the morning at their respective locations, followed by a quick lunch and a trip to the local dump. Mothers with their children work in the dump, collecting recyclables to make money. Hope of Life brings lunch to these families on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday afternoons, and encourages their volunteers to serve the food. They believe the short trip is necessary for visiting missionaries to see the reality of what is happening in the country outside the walls of Hope of Life.
After our return trip and a required shower, the team went right back to work! The Village of Transformation team was able to meet with the director of the program in the morning. She talked about a few children in her care that she struggled with, and the team gave her some strategies to tackle the problems at hand. The relief on her face proved that she felt more confident in what she needed to do.
The afternoon was spent observing the special education classroom and teacher. We observed some of the children we talked about with parents yesterday, and communicated with the teacher about her perspective on things. She is greatly looking forward to the training we have on Friday.
Ben and Michael spent time today fixing and adjusting more wheelchairs to best fit the children at Kelly’s House. One child in particular quickly went from slouching to sitting up straight and proper after a wheelchair adjustment. The Kelly’s House team also stayed late to assist with and observe feeding. The nannies were incredibly excited for this because the majority of the children were using universal cuffs or adaptive spoons to self feed! In two days 7 or 8 children went from being fed to being able to gain some independence and feed themselves! (This is HUGE!) This also transferred to brushing their teeth. Also huge, as almost all of these children have tooth decay from poor oral hygiene.
The team at the nutrition center was able to provide faster mobility for two students. Using scooter boards, these children were able to independently navigate around the room and facility. Yesterday, they were able to get the toddlers out of their room and up two levels, simply to get them used to the idea and for exploration. Today, the children not only left, but participated in a large group music therapy session for a longer period of time! Abby was awesome at entertaining the siblings while therapy and infant massage was occurring. Kimberly was able to get kids in the water and train someone to do what she does once she leaves.
Tomorrow is our last day of working hands on with the children. We can’t believe how fast it’s gone, and how much more work we see needs to be done. However, we are thrilled with the progress that we are seeing so far!