In April, Esther Rugambwa, a 13-year-old student at Tumaini Hope School in the Democratic Republic of Congo, had her hopes lifted for a brighter future when WIN DRC was given the funds for her next prosthetic leg.
Esther's life has been marked by unimaginable challenges and heartache. She was born as a result of a tragic incident – her mother was raped as a child herself, and Esther never had the chance to know her father. Moreover, her mother, an orphan herself, tragically passed away in 2020, leaving Esther and her siblings in the care of extended family members. To add to her struggles, Esther has faced physical difficulties as well, as her right leg has withered since birth, requiring a new prosthetic every two years.
Esther was already a beneficiary of WIN's support, having received her previous prosthetic legs through WIN financial aid. However, as she grew, the old prosthesis caused considerable difficulties due to its small size. Without a new prosthesis Esther faced significant physical, emotional and social obstacles that would impact her quality of life and well-being. This next step on the life-long journey of her health underscores the profound impact of the compassion and support that is needed to help her meet the challenges that she faces in life.
The process of acquiring the new prosthetic leg began with a consultation at the GOMA center for the disabled in June 2023. The medical check-up was crucial to assess Esther's needs and ensure that the new prosthesis would facilitate her mobility effectively. The team at WIN DRC arranged the transport and care of Esther while attending the appointment. Consulting with the doctor and medical staff, it was decided that it was time for her to have a new customised prosthetic leg, properly adapted to her current size.
The process involved two consultations to ensure the perfect fit for Esther's leg. The team worked diligently to ensure the new prosthesis was altered to the dimensions and fit required, providing her with the comfort and mobility she needed. After the successful fittings, Esther left the center with a smile on her face and travelled back to her village, ready to embrace her mobility and independence again.
The impact of WIN's support and the prosthetic leg on Esther's life cannot be overstated. With her new prosthesis, Esther can now move freely, unburdened by the physical limitations that would otherwise hold her back. Without this new leg, fitted to the right size to help distribute her weight and facilitate movement, Esther faced developing other health issues such as joint problems or musculoskeletal deformities. The continuing gift of mobility opens up a world of possibilities for her, enabling her to navigate her school and daily life with ease and confidence. World in Need is delighted to have been able to step in and provide the much-needed funds for her medical support, and the WIN DRC Global Family are thrilled to see her smiling and happy again.
WIN is humbled to have played a part in Esther's story of hope, resilience, and perseverance. Her new prosthetic leg symbolises not only a medical aid but also a journey of progress and hope. Esther's story is just one example of the tremendous difference that World in Need and our supporters make in the lives of others who struggle with all types of adversity. We thank God that together we can be part of bringing the light of Jesus into the lives of those who need our help.