Omod relied on his grandmother for his mobility
11-year old Omod lives in Ethiopia. He has celebral palsy and is unable to walk on his own, and needs assistance completing daily tasks such as eating and getting dressed. His grandmother, Athiep Ojulu, has been his caretaker since he was three years old. She prepares Omod’s meals, feeds him, bathes him and washes his clothes. Omod did not have any devices to support his mobility, so Athiep carried him on her back when they needed to go from one place to another.
Though Omod dreamed of playing and having fun with the other children his age, he was nervous to approach them and his mobility limitations ultimately kept him from joining in. Occasionally, his grandmother would try putting him in social situations, but the other children did not want to play with him.
A wheelchair changed everything
During a door-to-door screening, Humanity & Inclusion (HI) staff met with Omod and his grandmother, and referred him to the HI rehabilitation team to determine how they could support him. The physical therapist conducted an evaluation, and provided Omod with his first wheelchair to help improve his mobility and grant him independence.
“I was thrilled and in tears when HI visited my home to support us, because no one had done that before,” Athiep Ojulu says. “Now, everything is easier for my grandson and me. Everywhere I go, I can take him with me. I am so grateful to HI for doing such a fantastic job. It is truly amazing and I consider it to be a miracle. Thank you so much.”
Changing negative mindsets
HI also offered family counseling and information on the fundamentals of disability. To change unfavorable views in the neighborhood, including those of the other children, HI also launched a disability awareness campaign in the community. Additionally, Omod and his grandmother received basic hygiene supplies for their household.
These activities are made possible by the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Populations, Refugees, and Migration.