We walk barely 50 metres from the pot-holed rural road lined with small wood, cement block and tin-roofed settlements. Seven year-old Keisha starts crying and complaining as our motley group of outsiders approaches. She soon calms down after her aunt arrives together with a large group of neighbours.
“You wouldn’t believe the change in her since she joined this program three years ago” said one of the women, and the rest furiously nodded their agreement. “She couldn’t even feed herself”.
Keisha lives with cerebral palsy and in a remote island location off Cebu there are limited services and often barriers to children with disabilities to learn and grow. Through the love of her mother and the support of CBM and our partner organisation, Keisha has learnt to walk, to manage her hygiene and to speak. She can now bathe on her own and no longer crawls around the floor of her house.
Her mother, Geralyn has six kids and is poor, dependant on the money earned by her husband who works in Manila, far away.
Geralyn spends two hours a day on physical rehabilitation exercises with Keisha. She runs the exercises like a game and her oldest daughter who is 17, also assists.
“I have learnt a lot about therapeutic exercises from the project. Because of my sacrifices and the project, this has been the result” says her mum, Geralyn, full of smiles.
As part of her continuing growth Keisha will soon go to day care to begin to mix with other children her own age. She mingles with the neighbours and follows us out towards the road. There will continue to be challenges but her story is one of transformation and the potential for new beginnings. Thanks to this CBM project and her family’s commitment who knows what good future awaits Keisha and children like her?