There’ s hardly any need to introduce this gorgeous young lady to you. You have already made one big dream come true for Marie Claire. Four years ago, thanks to you, the girl started walking. You financed her operation on a deformed knee joint and a trip to a neighbouring country for treatment. Today, the orthopaedists performed surgery on her other knee which, although in much better condition, also needed treatment. Marie Claire was very brave. She will spend the night in hospital for observation.
Marie Claire was born with deformed knee joints. The doctors in Lomé, the capital of Togo, could only suggest that the girl spend the next years of her childhood in a wooden prosthesis and when she grew a little, they would decide what to do next. She could not go to school and playing with peers was only a dream. The first years of Marie Claire’s life were spent sitting on the veranda, looking after her favourite doll, Petite Marie Claire, and observing life around her.
The conditions in which Marie Claire lived also gave little hope that her life would ever change. She and her mother lived in a small shack on the outskirts of Lomé, without running water. They could not afford to pay the electricity bill. The girl had never slept on a bed, because such a piece of furniture was a luxury they could not afford. They were often unable to afford even one meal a day, so the daughter’s health problems seemed almost unbearable for a single mother.
We met some orthopaedists from Germany in neighbouring Burkina Faso and immediately presented Marie Claire’s case to them. One year later, they operated on the girl. After several months of rehabilitation, she started walking. We helped her mother to do a tailoring course and gave her a sewing machine to facilitate her new start. We furnished the small dwelling on the outskirts of Lomé with a comfortable bed. Marie Claire received a school kit and started attending classes.
Today, her life looks completely different. You have changed everything in this child’s reality. Such miracles happen here thanks to you! Marie Claire and her mother send you their love. They cannot find the words to express their gratitude. But to us this smile is enough!